By Freeman Razemba
HARARE – Police Assistant Commissioner Gideon Baloyi has been sentenced to an effective nine months in prison by a Harare magistrate for what the Police Act terms indiscipline.
Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba confirmed the case yesterday but could not divulge much details.
“On January 17, 2014, Assistant Commissioner Gideon Baloyi appeared before a Magistrate facing a charge of contravening paragraph 35 of the schedule to the Police Act Chapter 11:10 as read with Sections 29,29A and 34 (1) of the said Act, “Acting in any manner prejudicial to good order or indiscipline or reasonably likely to bring discredit to the force”,” she said.
Snr Asst Comm Charamba said Baloyi was found guilty and was sentenced to 12-months in prison but three-months were suspended on condition of good behaviour.
“The ZRP would like to reiterate that indiscipline has no role in the organisation. We will stop at nothing to expose any individual who discredits the good image of the force despite their rank,” she said.
The incident comes after thirty-three traffic police officers from Avondale Police Station in Harare were last week transferred to other bases allegedly because of “intolerable corruption levels.”
The officer-in-charge was also transferred. The rot at the police station came to light when one of the accused policemen solicited a US$50 bribe from a motorist.
The motorist lodged a complaint and the ZRP’s internal investigations team swiftly reacted but the money was not recovered. It was recommended that all the officers be transferred.
Snr Ass Comm Charamba last week highlighted that the police will take a hard line stance towards corruption.
“The organisation would like to emphasise that where acts of corruption are reported, the organisation will swiftly descend on the culprits and sternly take appropriate disciplinary measures.”
She said a raft of “radical razor edge” internal disciplinary measures, supervisory and monitoring mechanisms were now in place to deal with misconduct within the force.
“The upshot of the measures is that the organisation will not put any acts of misconduct involving dishonesty on a scale before dismissal.
“The approach in terms of the new measures will be that any proven acts of misconduct involving dishonesty of any nature will result in instant dismissal of the errant members,” she said.
She said this was different from the past where the force was constrained by a graduated legal and bureaucratic process. She said the Police Service Commission as part of the disciplinary chain does not condone corruption of any nature and had endorsed the stance and measures taken by the force.
Last year in May, Assistant Commissioner Baloyi said all police officers must support Zanu (PF) and those aligned to other political parties should resign from the force as they are sell-outs. He made the statement at a ZRP meeting that was turned into a Zanu (PF) campaign rally at Marondera District Police Headquarters. The Sunday Mail