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Cops lose case against Chihuri

The High Court has dismissed an application by four Beitbridge-based police officers who sought to have Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri interdicted from transferring them to other districts.

Police chief Augustine Chihuri
Police chief Augustine Chihuri

The police officers said they were not given reasons for their transfers and argued that in terms of the police standing orders, they were entitled to remain at one station for a minimum of five years.

Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo’s ruling followed an urgent chamber application filed by Admire Mahachi, Nyarai Mpofu, Emmanuel Muguto and Knowledge Shamhu challenging their transfers.

They claimed that the transfers were unlawful and a violation of their constitutional rights.

Justice Moyo ruled that the Commissioner-General and the Police Service Commission have a constitutional mandate to administer human resources within the police.

“The police service is an organisation that has resources, including human resources that are administered by the Commissioner-General of the police under the auspices of the Police Service Commission.

“In administering such resources, they have a duty to distribute resources within the police service, including human resources such that they benefit the whole nation at large,” said the judge.

“It therefore follows that in exercising their constitutional mandate, they will move human resources around the country.”

She said the courts would not interfere with the police chief’s administrative action.

“It cannot be good cause that the applicants just want to remain at one station with their families and that they have not been given reasons and yet they also have not sought to assert their rights by demanding them,” said Justice Moyo.

The four police officers were claiming that the transfers were in contravention of Section 68 of the Constitution.

The judge said the affected police officers did not show a prima facie right against their transfers. She, however, said they have a right to request for reasons from their superiors and can challenge the transfers even from their new stations.

“The court therein held the view that no irreparable harm can be suffered in a transfer as the applicants could challenge it and that it could not be held that challenging a transfer in another forum can be held not to have an alternative remedy.

“I decline to exercise my discretion in terms of Rule 246 (2) of the High Court and accordingly dismiss the provisional order,” ruled Justice Moyo. The Chronicle