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Jailed top cop invokes war credentials

By Edgar Gweshe

Jailed police Assistant Commissioner, Gideon Baloyi, yesterday made a High Court appeal against the dismissal of his bail pending appeal application at the Harare Magistrates Court arguing that his application should have been granted as he is a war veteran who had served the police force with distinction and without blemish since independence.

Mugabe inspecting police guard
Mugabe inspecting police guard

His lawyer, Misheck Hogwe, of Hogwe, Dzimirai and Partners who made the application further argued that a fine would have been appropriate.

On Wednesday, Harare Magistrate, Elijah Makomo, dismissed an application for bail pending an appeal by Baloyi.

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In dismissing the appeal, Makomo said that there was overwhelming evidence against the former top cop and therefore no basis for the application to be granted.

Baloyi was sentenced to an effective nine month jail term last week after he was found guilty of corruptly facilitating the release of a suspect, Nevermind Kufakunesu, who was facing a $21, 000 fraud charge.

He was found guilty of contravening paragraph 35 of the Schedule to the Police Act as read with Section 29 and 29(A)(1)(b) of the same law which makes it an offence for a police officer to act in a manner that discredits the name of the police force.

According to the State, Baloyi instructed a Detective Inspector who was investigating Kufakunesu’s fraud case not to detain the suspect.

After Baloyi’s instruction, Kufakunesu disappeared and police have not been able to locate him.

Baloyi had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In the latest appeal, his lawyer argued that the Magistrates Court misdirected itself in the ruling and that dismissal of Thursday’s application would result in their client losing some of the benefits he was entitled to after his long service in the police force.

“The applicant is a veteran of the country’s liberation war. At the rank of Assistant Commissioner, the mere conviction and inevitable dismissal as well as the attendant adverse publicity constitute such a heavy fall from grace for the applicant and imprisonment would be unduly harsh.

“Dismissal will inevitably result in the applicant losing all the benefits that come with long service. The relevant penal provision envisages the possibility of a fine as appropriate,” read part of the application.

Hogwe further argued that there were no risks of their client absconding as he was out of custody during trial while attending court sessions religiously.

Hogwe proposed that his client should be admitted to a bail of $100, reside at his given address as well as surrender his passport to the Clerk of Court. The Zimbabwean

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