By Mashudu Netsianda
AN ex-police officer in Bulawayo, who was fired after he was convicted on a charge of domestic violence, has taken Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe and Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga to court challenging his dismissal.
Ex-Constable Mthulisi Moyo, who was stationed at Donnington Police Station, was discharged on November 8 this year for misconduct in terms of the Police Act. He had been in the police service for 16 years.
The charge arose from his conviction by Western Commonage magistrate Ms Tancy Dube on his own plea of guilty to physical abuse.
Moyo was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment of which six months were conditionally suspended for three years. The remaining nine months were further suspended on condition that he performs 315 hours of community service.
He is seeking an order nullifying his dismissal, saying it was unlawful and irrational.
Moyo, through his lawyers Tanaka Law Chambers, filed an application for review at the Bulawayo High Court citing Minister Kazembe, Comm-Gen Matanga and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Mr Aaron Nhepera as respondents.
Moyo, in his founding affidavit, said the decision by his bosses to fire him was unlawful and ought to be set aside.
He argued that the offence he was charged and subsequently convicted of was not a serious one to warrant Comm-Gen Matanga to fire him in terms of section 48 (a) of the Police Act.
“I consider that the decision of the first respondent (Comm-Gen Matanga) was irrational and unreasonable under the circumstances, particularly if one looks at the circumstances surrounding the case, and more so the powers which first respondent has under section 48 (a) of the Police Act,” he said.
Moyo argued that section 48 (a) of the Police Act exonerates persons who were given community service as a sentence from the option of a discharge from the police service.
“There was never a proper use of the judicial powers by the first respondent in that he acted irrationally and did not apply the law properly. The decision to discharge me was in the circumstances too harsh and not supported by the facts before the first respondent,” he said.
“The first respondent ought to have considered the facts of the case, my clean work record and the circumstances surrounding the case and the submission made.
“I therefore submit that the decision and conduct of the first respondent cannot be countenanced and as such I should be granted the relief sought.”
Sometime this year, Moyo was involved in a domestic dispute with his wife and he assaulted her.
The matter was reported to the police leading to Moyo’s arrest.
He was taken to the magistrate’s court on a charge of physical abuse in terms of Domestic Violence Act and convicted.
The respondents are yet to respond. The Chronicle