CHARLES MUSONDA writes
CHARLES MUSONDA writes
A POLICE officer has complained of suffering for no good reason after being dismissed from service over unsubstantiated allegations resulting from the love triangle he was involved in at the University of Zambia (UNZA).
In an interview, Sylvester Shipolo said he has struggled to survive without a salary since October 2016 when he was dismissed after more than 20 years of service, following allegations made against him by an unnamed UNZA Dean of Students.
Mr. Shipolo, 48, explained that in 2010 he went back to UNZA to pursue a Masters’ Degree in Gender Studies on permission by his then immediate supervisor while awaiting approval of his application for study leave.
He said upon completing the programme after two years, in 2013 he decided to pursue a PhD in the same discipline and under the same permission arrangement by his immediate supervisor.
“Problems started after I started dating a student who was pursuing a Masters’ in Education. I discovered that she was cheating on me with a lecturer in her department. I also found out that she was cheating on me.
“I ended that love affair because it was just wasting my time. By then even students in her class and some undergraduates had learnt about her behaviour and one day they verbally attacked her but she suspected me of having sent them,” Mr. Shipolo said.
He said the same woman identified as Caroline Chimbeza reported him to the Dean of Students after which disciplinary proceedings were instituted against him but before conclusion of the hearing, he was expelled from UNZA on November 5, 2015.
Mr. Shipolo said he later sued Ms. Chimbeza and UNZA as the second defendant over his expulsion.
“Whilst the proceedings were going on in the High Court, the Dean of Students decided to write to the Inspector General of Police on 19th April 2016, giving a picture that I was not in school and I was not going for work.
“He knew that the matter was in court and I knew that the study leave extension I had applied for was supposed to end in October 2016. Five days after the Dean of Students wrote to the IG, I received a memorandum of an exculpatory letter that the Zambia Police Service was enquiring about my whereabouts for more than two years.
“This came as a surprise because I had been going to the office in 2013, 2014, and 2015. I had interactions with my then immediate supervisor all that time. During this time no one questioned me where I was because my immediate supervisor knew where I was,” he said.
Mr. Shipolo added that when he explained that he was neither on leave nor absent from work but was doing both work and school at the same time, upon permission granted to him by his immediate supervisor, he expected Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja to hear his story.
He said afterwards, the UNZA Vice Chancellor quashed his expulsion from the institution after establishing that it was wrongly done and his PhD programme has since been restored.
This was after UNZA asked him to withdraw the court case against the institution and Ms. Chimbeza equally pleaded with him to discontinue proceedings against her.
He agreed on condition that she makes a public apology in a public newspaper to exonerate him from all the allegations she made against him and the parties signed a consent order on December 3, 2018 before High Court Judge Charles Chanda.
He said now that he has been exonerated, he expects the Zambia Police Service to restore his employment and pay his salary with arrears since October 2016 when it was blocked.