Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
Assistant Commissioner Gideon Baloyi, who was recently reinstated after the High Court cleared him of corruptly causing the release of a fraud suspect, is demanding $300 000 in damages from the police for malicious prosecution. Asst Comm Baloyi — who was a staff officer at the Police General Headquarters in Harare — was jailed by magistrate Mr Elijah Makomo for allegedly trying to protect Nevermind Kufakunesu, accused of swindling a local businessman Mr Batsirayi Mupindu of chickens worth $21 000.
He was later cleared of the charges after the High Court quashed both conviction and the nine-month jail-term imposed on him for lack of incriminating evidence.
Through his lawyer, Mr Misheck Hogwe of Hogwe, Dzimirai and Partners, Asst Comm Baloyi has written to the Ministry of Home Affairs notifying them of his intention to institute legal proceedings against the State and police officers who instigated his malicious prosecution.
The letter dated December 4, 2014 was also copied to Commissioner-General of Police Augustine Chihuri, Senior Assist Comm Chengeta and the Attorney-General’s Office and the Civil Division.
In the letter, Asst Comm Baloyi is claiming $300 000 in damages for contumelia, deprivation of freedom, discomfort and untold humiliation plus interest at the prescribed rate from the date summons would be issued, in the event the matter is not settled.
In addition, Asst Comm Baloyi is demanding $10 000 for the legal costs he incurred in defending himself.
Mr Hogwe said appropriate legal action would be instituted if no settlement is reached within 60 days of the delivery of the letter.
“By copy of this letter, the Commissioner-General of Police is accordingly advised that should there be no settlement within sixty days of this letter, legal proceedings will be instituted accordingly,” said Mr Hogwe.
“It is our hope that in view of the glaring straightforwardness of this case, a settlement will be reached to avoid needless legal costs.”
Mr Hogwe said his client was incarcerated for a period of three weeks together with convicted criminals and during that period, he suffered unimaginable trauma, humiliation and his dignity was severely impaired.
“He (Asst Comm Baloyi) was seen by friends, associates and the public as a corrupt police officer,” said Mr Hogwe.
“His 34-year long established reputation of serving the police force with distinction and without blemish was severely tarnished.
“At the rank of Assistant Commissioner, the conviction and subsequent sentence as well as dismissal from the police force in terms of Section 48 of the Police Act attracted extensive adverse publicity in various media houses and social media.”
Asst Comm Baloyi endured 10 months of joblessness and lack of income following his incarceration and dismissal from work.
In October, Justice Francis Bere, sitting with Justice Charles Kunofiweyi Hungwe, quashed both conviction and sentence imposed on Asst Comm Baloyi putting the police force into disrepute by corruptly instructing a junior officer to release the fraud suspect Kufakunesu.