Home » Judicial » Police Lose Re-Training Case

The High Court yesterday gave the Zimbabwe Republic Police six hours to release five constables who had sued their superiors for inhuman and degrading treatment while undergoing “re-training.”

The policemen were serving their sentences in detention barracks for misconduct.

The ruling comes after the constables challenged the re-training they were required to do, claiming that it amounted to unlawful detention at Morris Depot in Harare and torture.

The officers are Constables Tichivanhu (force number 061763H), Charumbira (064364k), Chikwasha (065740F), Mabvundwi (067736A) and Masunda (071728P).

They testified of the alleged abuse before High Court Judge Justice Francis Bere who presided over the inquiry into the inhuman treatment the five were subjected to under the guise of re-training.

He delivered his judgment yesterday.

“The respondents are interdicted from detaining the applicants unless in pursuance of a court order of a competent court or in pursuance of a conviction in terms of the Police Act,” said Justice Bere.

“The respondents are ordered to release the applicants forthwith from detention and at least not later than six hours from this order.”

The full reasons for the order would be made available in due course. The challenge was brought to court as an urgent application.

The police defended the re-training, denying that it was a further punishment, but rather, that it met a need.

During the inquiry, the five, who were being represented by their lawyer Mr Norman Mugiya, told the court that they were taken to Morris Deport after finishing serving their sentences at Chikurubi for separate acts of misconduct.

This, they said, was done under the guise of re-training exercise to keep them abreast with “the ever-changing policing trends and requirements”.

They all accused Senior Assistant Commissioner Grace Ndebele and other senior officers of inflicting inhuman and degrading treatment on them.

But the police, through their attorney Mr Tineyi Dodo of the Prosecutor-General’s Office, denied the allegations.

Mr Dodo argued that the five finished serving their sentences at the detention barracks and were now undergoing re-training for a minimum of six weeks up to a maximum of three months.

He argued that the five were being retrained in terms of a circular which introduced re-training after a needs analysis was undertaken.

The introduction of policy directions by way of the circular, Mr Dodo argued, was permissible and remained within the province of the police command.

Mr Dodo said the five were not being punished, but going through an endurance test, which is normal within the police force.

Source : The Herald