Monday 26 February 2018


THE Zimbabwe Republic Police’s (ZRP) conduct of barring officers from retiring from the police force on reaching pensionable age, on the basis of an existing bonding agreement, has been declared unlawful by the court which ruled the pensionable officers have a constitutional right to retire.

The judgment was delivered by High Court Justice Pricilla Chigumba on January 18 this year, in a matter involving a serving member of the ZRP, Tymon Tabana, who in 2016 approached the court seeking an order compelling then Commissioner General, Augustine Chihuri, Police Service Commission (PSC) and Home Affairs minister, then Ignatius Chombo, to allow him to retire from service.

After the court ruled in his favour, the ZRP appealed against the ruling arguing Tabana was supposed to continue serving until 2021.

The reason for the police refusal, Tabana said was that the police force was claiming it had funded his (Tabana) university education and as such wanted him to work until he had fully compensated the force.

“The order granted which is the subject of this subject matter of this application reads as follows; it be and is hereby declared that the applicant (Tabana) has a constitutional right as set out in section 55 and 64 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe not to perform forced labour, and freedom of profession, trade or occupation by being denied the right to retire upon reaching pensionable service.

“The respondent’s (ZRP) conduct of barring the applicant from retiring from the police service on reaching pensionable age be and is hereby declared unlawful. The radio signal dated November 9, 2016 directing the arrest of the applicant be and is hereby declared unlawful, null and void and of no effect, the bonding agreement which the applicant and the second respondent signed in 2010 be and is, hereby, declared unenforceable.”

Besides declaring the forced labour as unconstitutional, Justice Chigumba also ruled the police was not properly before the court after taking into account several issues that had not been properly addressed by the police.

“Herein lies the fatal defect that is bedelving this application, in my respectful view. The applicant is not at liberty to throw the whole kitchen sink at the court and ask the court to guess which dishes need washing and which ones need drying.

“Quite obviously, the ingredients and the equipment used in the washing process differ significantly from those used in the drying process,” the judge said.

“One cannot wash dishes if there is no washing powder provided for instance. Kitchen analogies aside, the first thing to note is that, none of the averments necessary to bring the applicant properly before the court in terms of the common law rule 63 and or rule 449 were set out in the founding affidavit…..there is no application for rescission of judgment before us…and for the other reasons set out above, it therefore be and is hereby ordered that the application is dismissed with costs.”

In his court application seeking an interdict against the police, Tabana also cited police chief staff officer, Justice Chifunye Chengeta, who is the human resources administration, as the first respondent. Newsday


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