A TOP cop who was recently acquitted on charges of allegedly stealing guns, more than 180 live bullets and an assortment of related weaponry from the police armoury has taken his boss, Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga to court challenging an imminent disciplinary hearing.
David Fugao (age not given), the officer-in-charge of the ZRP provincial armoury in Matabeleland North, was jointly accused with Wonder Tawanda Karamba (33) and Francis Chaterera (39), of theft and criminal abuse of duty as public officers.
They were arrested last year in March after detectives from the Criminal Investigations Department homicide section received information that there were suspicious movements of firearms at the armoury.
The detectives through investigations found out that some police officers were allegedly removing firearms that are subject to a handover-takeover from the armoury to a backyard room.
This was discovered following the arrest of Fugao after he was implicated by a suspected armed robber, Ame Mpala, who was arrested with an AK-47 rifle along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge Road.
Fugao, through his lawyers VJ Mpofu and Associates, filed an application for review at the Bulawayo High Court citing Comm-Gen Matanga and Hwange magistrate Ms Barbara Phiri as respondents. In his founding affidavit, Fugao said Comm-Gen Matanga’s decision to convene a suitability board was irrational and malicious given that he was acquitted of the charges of theft and criminal abuse of duty.
“On August 31, 2020, I was informed by the officer commanding district in Hwange that a suitability board was to be convened in order to determine whether I was suitable to remain in the police or not. In the circumstances, I found the decisions marred by malice, bias and procedural irregularities,” he said.
Fugao argued that the imminent disciplinary hearing comes at a time when he was acquitted by Ms Phiri.
He said upon his acquittal, he was shocked when Ms Phiri warned him that he should in future record rifles in the occurrence book yet he was not convicted.He said the magistrate erred by issuing that warning, which his boss is now using as a basis to convene a board of suitability.-Chronicle