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High Court reinstates college principal

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THE High Court has ordered stay of transfer of Belvedere Technical Teachers’ College acting principal, Patrick Cosmas Chinhoro, after the latter filed an urgent interdict application claiming that the planned transfer constituted unfair labour practices.

CHARLES LAITON

Chinhoro claimed in his application, filed under case number HC7968/14, that his transfer to the position of chief science and technology officer was part of attempts by top government officials to cover up the massive corruption he had unearthed at the institution.

In his application heard before Justice Tendai Uchena yesterday, Chinhoro cited Civil Service Commission chairperson Mariyawanda Nzuwa, Higher and Tertiary Education minister Olivia Muchena and Permanent Secretary for Higher and Tertiary Education Washington Mbizvo as first, second and third respondent, respectively.

Chinhoro said soon after his appointment as acting principal in September 2012, he unearthed several corrupt activities bordering on gross financial irregularities and mismanagement of college funds.

He said his findings then led to the arrest of college accountant Mathew Gandawa, his assistant Patricia Mandaza and an intern Fortune Chirume, who are all on suspension pending the finalisation of the alleged fraud case at the Harare Magistrates’ Court.

“On July 15 2013, I was surprised to learn that a series of charges of misconduct were being levelled against me by the 2nd and 3rd respondents, but the charges were then dropped and have not been raised again,” Chinhoro said.

“I feel I have been a subject of victimisation for unearthing massive, crippling and serious corruption that had become the norm at the institution for the benefit of a few at the prejudice of many.”

His lawyers Mugwadi and Associates added: “Applicant (Chinhoro) acted in good faith in unearthing massive corruption at the college and the 1st respondent had sent a team of investigators to the college to investigate the fraud allegations raised by the applicant, but to his surprise, he is the one who has to be transferred and is having to face charges which have not been legally communicated to him at a time when he was expecting to be rewarded for a job well done for the role he had taken in unearthing massive corruption at the college.”

Justice Uchena ordered the respondents to bear the costs of the application at the rate of attorney and client scale.

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