By Nyasha Dube
ZIMBABWE’S home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe and Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga have each been fined $100 000 for failing to pay a US$60 000 settlement to a Zimbabwe Republic Police officer who was fired in 2010.
The two, together with the director of the salary service bureau, were found to be in contempt of court by High Court judge, Justice Priscilla Munangati-Manongwa, earlier this week.
This comes after police officer Anatos Mpofu filed an application at the court seeking to have the three declared to be in contempt of court and imprisoned for 90 days.
According to court documents, Mpofu was a police officer before he was summarily dismissed from the force following a conviction in a criminal matter.
He then successfully appealed the conviction and later sought reinstatement to the force, but the police declined.
Mpofu then filed an application at the High Court, which was granted in his favour.
In 2011, the High Court ordered the three government officials to pay Mpofu damages in lieu of reinstatement in the sum of US$58 131 being arrears in salaries, bonuses, accommodation, leave days and medical services.
The director of the salary service bureau was also ordered to pay Mpofu a pension of US$6 101 and monthly pension of US$97 until his death.
However, the three ignored the court order and chose not to pay him, prompting Mpofu to file another application at the High Court asking that they be declared in contempt of court.
In her ruling, Justice Munangati-Manongwa said that she could not impose a custodial service as Mpofu had cited Matanga, Kazembe and the Salary Service Bureau director in their official capacity.
The judge also noted that a ruling in Mpofu’s favour was in the interest of justice as the three had continuously ignored his pleas for payment.
“The applicant has managed to prove that the court order is extant. The respondent has not appealed against the order and, therefore, it is still binding.
“It is common cause that the respondents have the knowledge of the order and there was non-compliance with it.
“Of note is the fact that whilst the third respondent sought to claim that payment had been done the entity responsible for effecting payments on behalf of the government being the Salaries Services Bureau chose to remain quiet.
“The third respondent has not complied hence it is in contempt of court.”
Justice Munangati-Manongwa declared that the three should deposit US$53 596 into Mpofu’s account together with interest at the prescribed rate calculated from 29 September 2010 to the date of final payment within 14 days of service of her order. – Daily News