By Mashudu Netsianda
A disgruntled Bulawayo-based junior cop has taken Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo and Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri to court for allegedly forcing him to “unlawfully” contribute part of his monthly salary towards funding projects that allegedly benefit his bosses.
Constable Shepherd Marufu, who is attached to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Support Unit and stationed at the Fairbridge Armoury, has filed an application at the Bulawayo High Court citing Minister Chombo, Comm-Gen Chihuri, the officer commanding ZRP Support Unit Senior Assistant Commissioner Angeline Guvamombe and the Officer-in-Charge of ZRP Fairbridge Armoury only identified as Inspector Nakai, as respondents.
In papers before the court, Const Marufu through his lawyers, Mugiya and Macharaga Law Chambers, seeks an order declaring the contributions unlawful.
He also wants an order directing the defendants to restitute all the money he was allegedly forced to contribute as well as the legal costs he incurred.
Const Marufu, in his founding affidavit, said his bosses created several money spinning projects to rip off their juniors by forcing them to make monthly contributions towards the projects.
“I earn about $420 per month and the defendants have since created their own money sucking projects, which I, together with other members of the ZRP, are forced to make contributions from our meagre monthly salaries. The contributions are unlawful and none of them benefit me as they only help to fatten the pockets of my bosses,” he said.
Some of the projects include Kuyedza affiliation fees ($10 per year) camp and Kuyedza affiliation fees ($10 each per year) and badgers galas for the Comm-Gen of Police ($20 per year), officer commanding province ($35 per year) and officer commanding district ($9 per year).
Const Marufu said they were also forced to buy and sell raffle tickets for $30 each three times a year.
“It is even more worrying that I am also being forced to buy and sell raffle tickets, which is against my religion as it prohibits gambling,” he said.
Const Marufu said he stopped contributing the money two years ago and diverted the funds towards paying medical bills for his ailing mother. He is now being punished by being denied vocational leave days.
“When I diverted part of my salary towards settling medical bill for my mother and stopped paying extortionary monetary obligations, the defendants decided to punish me by depriving me of my occasional or vocational leave,” he said.
“The first defendant (Insp Nakai) was explicit that he would fix me until I complied by paying up all the obligations including arrears with a monthly interest at the rate of 20 percent of my salary. The conduct of the defendants is clearly unlawful and wrong,” said Const Marufu.
He said they were also forced to contribute between $1 and $4 every month for district and funeral funds, transport and troop welfare fees. The Chronicle