via 19 top cops to go, says: Chihuri | The Herald October 16, 2013
POLICE Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri yesterday said at least 19 commissioned officers will be leaving the force this year after reaching their retirement age and enjoying an extension of service provided for by the law. The officers include eight senior assistant commissioners and 11 assistant commissioners.
Comm-Gen Chihuri said many such senior officers had reached retirement age, but he was using provisions of the Police Act to renew their contracts.
He was responding to reports in some sections of the media that some senior police officers were being retired because of alleged corruption.
“All this talk of witch-hunts and their gospel has nothing to do with us,” said Comm-Gen Chihuri in an interview.
“You cannot just jump on the bandwagon. I am not doing anything illegal and they (those retiring) have not committed any crime.”
Senior assistant commissioners set to retire this year include Wayne Bvudzijena, Moses Chihuri and Oliver Chibage, all of whom are past their retirement age of 50.
Comm-Gen Chihuri said he is assisted by the four Deputy Commissioner-Generals Godwin Matanga, Andrew Matibiri, Josephine Shambare and Levi Sibanda to identify those whose contracts would not be renewed.
They meet as the Central Planning Committee and consider the performance and skills offered by those facing retirement before deciding on their fate.
“I approve their retirement in small numbers so that we continue to have a balance of the staff and have continuity, while new blood will be promoted,” Comm-Gen Chihuri said.
The police chief is empowered by the Police Act to renew officers’ tenure on a yearly basis once they reach the retirement age of 50.
The extension of service for members beyond 50 years is governed by section 22 (3) and (4) of the Police Act Chapter 11:10.
Section 22 (3) states that a regular member of the force, whatever his length of pensionable service, shall retire from the regular force at midnight on the 50th anniversary of his or her birthday.
A provision in the same section empowers the Commissioner-General of Police to extend the service of the member if he considers it in the public interest and the member is medically fit.
He may extend the tenure to 55 years on yearly extensions.
Section 22 (4) states that any member who has continued to serve in terms of subsection (3) shall retire at 55 years of his anniversary.
A provision in the same section empowers the Commissioner-General of Police to extend the service of the member if he considers it in the public interest.
The extension would be 12 months at a time.
In terms of the Police Act Chapter 11:10, the extension of service after 50 years is exclusively the prerogative of the Commissioner-General of Police.
Comm-Gen Chihuri said those attempting to link the retirement of the senior officers to imaginary corruption were not aware of such provisions of the Police Act.
“That is the issue and it has absolutely nothing to do with what some people are saying,” he said.
“In fact, those who are going are not regretting it.
“Is there anyone who came to you complaining? Ask them. They are happy because some now have more time to pursue their businesses such as farming.”
Comm-Gen Chihuri said he also considered the officers’ professions when approving their retirement and those in medical, law and other light duty professions were likely to stay for more years.
He said he continued in office because President Mugabe was happy with his performance.
“If you are no longer performing and you are on contract you will be relieved,” said Comm-Gen Chihuri.
“If I do not perform well, the President will not keep me for another two minutes.
“If I am still in this office, it means the President is happy with what I am doing.
“If he is no longer happy he tells me to go and I will not complain or come to the Press to complain.
“I will come to the Press only to inform you that when you see me do not address me as the Commissioner-General, I am out.”