Government has retired over 30 senior police officers from the rank of senior assistant commissioner and above, as it moves to transform the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP). Sources within ZRP confirmed the development, saying the senior officers were served with retirement letters yesterday. Home Affairs Minister Dr Obert Mpofu said he was not aware of the developments and referred The Herald to Acting Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga.
Mugabe's relative Matibiri
In an interview, Acting Comm-Gen Matanga said: “There is something happening. Can you contact me tomorrow (today).” Police sources said those served with retirement letters were Deputy Commissioner-Generals Innocent Matibiri (Human resources), Levie Sibanda (Operations) and Josephine Shambare Crime). Commissioners Olga Bungu, Mekia Tanyanyiwa and Grace Ndebele also received their letters.
Among the fired Senior Assistant Commissioners were Charity Charamba, Godfrey Munyonga, Angelina Guvamombe, Justice Chengeta, Robert Masukusa, Eve Mlilo, Grace Maenzanise, Prudence Chakanyuka, Erasmus Makodza, Wiklef Makamache, Edward Fusire and Douglas Nyakutsikwa. The retirement letters were signed by Acting Comm-Gen Matanga and were titled “Retirement from the Zimbabwe Republic Police in Terms of Section 22(3) of the Police Act Chapter 11:10”.
“This letter serves to advise you of your retirement from the Zimbabwe Republic Police in terms of section 22 subsection (3) of the Police Act Chapter 11:10 effective from midnight on the 19th of January 2018,” reads one of the letters that was written to Comm Ndebele. You will be paid three months’ salary in lieu of three months’ notice of termination of service. The Acting Commissioner General of Police avails himself this opportunity to sincerely thank you for having diligently served the organisation and the people of Zimbabwe. Wishing you and your family a pleasant retirement.”
Acting Comm-Gen Matanga recently held a meeting with senior police officers where he pointed out that they should be prepared for retirement. “He (Acting Comm-Gen Matanga) said the retirement age is 55 years according to the Police Act, 65 years for Public Service Commission. He said members should prepare for it,” a source who attended the meeting was quoted as saying.
Efforts to get comments from the senior officers retired yesterday were fruitless, as they did not answer their mobile phones. The latest developments come after police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri was sent on leave pending retirement in December last year. Dr Chihuri had been Comm-Gen since 2008.
In October 2013, at least 19 commissioned officers left the ZRP after reaching retirement age and enjoying an extension of service provided for by the law. The officers included eight senior assistant commissioners and 11 assistant commissioners. Dr Chihuri was quoted then as saying many such senior officers had reached retirement age, but he was using provisions of the Police Act to renew their contracts.