Connect with us

DIASPORA

Zimbabwean police sergeant dismissed for drink driving

Published

on

Taurayi Chamboko

A police sergeant has been dismissed after he “tried to avoid” being charged with drink driving.

Taurayi Chamboko of Bedfordshire Police was stopped by officers after overtaking an unmarked police car “in poor driving conditions” on 9 November, a misconduct panel heard.

He “immediately” produced his warrant card and later “feigned illness” to avoid producing a urine sample.

His actions were found to amount to gross misconduct.

Chief Constable Jon Boutcher said he “could not be more disappointed” by Mr Chamboko’s behaviour.

“You overtook two cars at high speed in poor driving conditions and when stopped you produced your warrant card immediately,” he said.

“I have absolutely no doubt you tried to avoid the police process that day.”
“You overtook two cars at high speed in poor driving conditions and when stopped you produced your warrant card immediately,” he said.

“I have absolutely no doubt you tried to avoid the police process that day.”

Mr Boutcher said the police sergeant “tried to frustrate officers” when he was stopped at 22:30 GMT and it took five attempts before Mr Chamboko provided a road-side breath test sample.

It gave a reading of 58 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath – the legal limit is 35 micrograms.

At the police station, Mr Chamboko was found “slumped in his cell” and “did not co-operate with questions asked”.

He was taken to the hospital and did not provide a further sample until 04:30 – which also came back as over the limit.

Mr Boutcher said the sergeant delayed the process “by feigning illness”.

At the hearing at police headquarters, Mr Chamboko said he was “terribly sorry” for his actions and blamed his behaviour on dealing with grief after the deaths of three close relatives.

Jim Mallen from the Police Federation said the police sergeant was also affected by “work-related stress”.

Mr Taurayi Chamboko said he visited a friend and drank cognac from 10:00-13:00 before sleeping for nine hours.

He had 16 years’ police service and was described by his colleagues as “dedicated, hardworking and committed”.

As he dismissed Mr Taurayi Chamboko without notice, Mr Boutcher said: “It is a great sadness that an officer of your standard is lost to policing.”BBC

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

NEWS

Zimbabwe Care Workers Fleeced Thousands of Pounds in COS Visa Scandal

Published

on

Zimbabwe-care-workers-cos-uk

Certificate of Sponsorship Scandal Sees Zimbabwe Care Workers Pay up to  £8k for Visa

Care workers recruited from Zimbabwe are being trapped in the UK. They are forced to pay large debts to recruitment agencies before they can start working. Once they start working, they are paid very little and are often forced to work long hours without breaks. This has led to a situation where these care workers are being exploited and treated unfairly. It has been discovered that Zimbabwean care workers who come to the UK to start their careers are getting scammed and exploited by middlemen. These workers are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous middlemen who trick them into coming to the UK and then withholding up to 50% of their wages, forcing them to live in squalor.

Due to the economic crisis in Zimbabwe, many trained care professionals are seeking employment overseas. However, many agencies, which are often run by Zimbabweans in the UK and are unregulated, are exploiting these workers. Zimbabwean nurses have been working in Britain for years, but hiring care workers is a new trend. Experts say that an ecosystem of manipulation has been built around this phenomenon, which is highly exploitative. One way to move to the UK is to complete a Red Cross care worker certification program, which is highly sought after. However, locals say that middlemen exploit the certificate of sponsorship (COS) by charging high fees.

Terrence Macheka, a trainee nurse, plans to emigrate to the UK when he graduates, and he says that his wife was scammed by agents who charged $380 to put her on the training waiting list, despite the official Red Cross certification fee being only $300. Closed WhatsApp groups show that these agents then ask care workers to pay up to £5,000 to be linked with UK-based care agencies. This has created a web of corruption, where UK-based care agencies run by Zimbabwe nationals give the COS to their relatives and friends first, while others have to pay hefty fees that reach £4,000. Some charge as high as £7,000, which is against British law. 

The UK law is clear that a recruitment agency cannot charge a fee for ‘placing’ an employee, and the person who ‘assigns’ or prepares and allocates the COS cannot be related to the prospective employee. However, regulation of these agencies is weak, and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) suggests that their hands are tied because these actors are not under UK jurisdiction. DHSC says that some organisations may use repayment clauses to recoup upfront costs if internationally recruited staff do not meet the terms of their contract, which is acceptable. Still, it would be concerning if the repayment costs were disproportionate or punitive.

According to experts, various schemes are taking advantage of the chronic staffing issues faced by the UK’s social and healthcare systems. The NHS alone has to fill 40,000 nursing positions, which has led to a surge in international recruitment. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) recently signed a deal with Nepal, allowing 100 nurses to work at the Hampshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. This pilot scheme could potentially open up opportunities for thousands of Nepalese nurses to work in the UK. However, the ethics of this move have been questioned by Sir Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians. Nepal is on an international recruitment red list, which the World Health Organization (WHO) operates to prevent developed countries from actively recruiting from regions with a lack of health workers or an undeveloped health system. Sir Andrew said, “That the UK should have [to] do special deals with other countries to support its own NHS workforce is in itself a marker of how workforce planning for the NHS has failed. That we are taking from a country that has substantially lower numbers of healthcare workers than many countries have is something we should have serious reservations about.”

NHS England has also been accused of “emptying” Zimbabwe of health workers. Although the country is not on the red list, experts have warned of a “critical shortage” of staff. In 2020, the UK issued 1,059 skilled visas to Zimbabweans, a figure which jumped to 5,549 in 2022, placing the southern African country among the UK’s top five skilled visa grantees. However, the recruitment drive has drained Zimbabwe so badly that Bulawayo municipality, in the southwest, recently complained that 13 nurses out of its skeleton staff have moved to the UK since January.

Despite the vast difference in the number of health professionals per population, Zimbabwe has managed to maintain a decent nurse-to-patient ratio, with 1.9 nurses and midwives per 1,000 people in 2018. In comparison, the UK had 8.2 nurses and midwives per 1,000 people. However, Zimbabwe is currently facing extreme poverty, which has led to nurses seeking better opportunities elsewhere. Despite being paid just $79 a month and dealing with a high patient load, Zimbabwean nurses have been fleeing the country due to the high inflation rate, which has shot up to 479% in 2020, according to Steve Hanke, director of the Troubled Currencies project at the Cato Institute. These nurses hope for a better life when they reach the UK, but many find themselves in a similar situation of financial insecurity. Experts warn that the issue of overcharging by agencies has become too large to ignore, with leaked care-worker pay slips showing salaries of £2,255 being drained by their employers under the guise of administrative fees until only £604 is left, causing an uproar on Twitter in June.

Mr Chagonda left the UK after only a few months due to unbearable conditions. He was not the only one who experienced a significant reduction in wages or had to live in cramped accommodations. During his time in Britain, he had to pay £70 a week to share a house with eight other people.

“I’ll never return to the UK as a care worker,” he told the local newspaper, describing such schemes as a form of modern slavery. However, the situation for those who were undocumented was even more dire. “I met people who had been in the UK since 1999, without papers, who worked as care workers for agencies and were left with only £300. You just do what they ask you to do,” he said, referring to his colleagues in Leeds. He added that some workers were so financially strapped that they had to sleep in their clients’ homes.

Continue Reading

DIASPORA

Zimbabwean Drivers in the UK: Converting Your License? The Ministry of Transport Addresses Your Questions

Published

on

Zimbabwean Drivers Licence to UK Licence

Recently, the Zimbabwe Ministry of Transport addressed the rising concerns about converting Zimbabwean driver’s licenses to British driver’s licenses. They shared an official statement on social media that provided answers to several crucial questions raised by Zimbabwean drivers.

Recognition of Zimbabwean Driver’s License by the British Government

One of the key questions addressed in the statement is whether the British Government still recognises the Zimbabwean driver’s license. The response was affirmative, confirming that Zimbabwean licenses are still recognised.

However, there have been unconfirmed reports of some Zimbabweans using counterfeit metal driver’s licenses in the UK. The drivers reportedly end up being involved or causing road traffic accidents

This has prompted the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in the UK to require Certificates of Competency. These certificates are now part of the conversion process

Certificate of Competency Requirements

A question commonly asked by individuals who have lost their Certificate of Competency, which is now required for conversion, was also addressed.

The Ministry explained that the current system does not provide for duplicate Certificates of Competency due to their limited validity of 30 days.

The Ministry is actively engaging with the DVLA to reconsider this requirement.

Class Conversion and Downgrading

The statement addressed concerns from individuals who have class 2 driver’s licenses but wish to convert to classes 4 and 5, as opposed to being limited to class 2. The DVLA’s hesitation stems from doubts about the skills of many class 2 drivers who may not have undergone essential tests. To address this, the Ministry is facilitating testing for class four licenses, ensuring that drivers are competent for their desired class.

The Ministry has emphasised the importance of avoiding the use of fake Certificates of Competency. It strongly warns against presenting counterfeit certificates to the DVLA or any licensing authority as this may result in the revocation of valid driver’s licenses. The Ministry further urges applicants to follow the correct procedures for license conversion and avoid any illicit means.

Contacting CVR for License Verification

Concerns about the DVLA’s ability to contact the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) for license verification were also addressed. The Ministry assured the public that CVR maintains regular communication with DVLA.

To assist with license verification, citizens were provided with contact information for CVR via email addresses:

registrarcvr@gmail.com, ddcvrl@gmail.com, and ddcvr2@gmail.com.

Additionally, individuals were encouraged to seek assistance from their respective embassies if needed.

Continue Reading

ENTERTAINMENT

Nox Guni Reportedly Arrested in Ireland on Suspicion of Fraud

Published

on

Nox Guni Arrested
Source:Nox Guni Music

Zimbabwean urban grooves singer Enock Guni, popularly known as Nox, found himself behind bars over the weekend following his arrest on allegations of credit card fraud by Dublin police in Ireland. As a result, his highly-anticipated performance at the Button Factory on Friday had to be cancelled.

According to a report published by The Irish Sun, Nox had been staying at Dublin’s Hard Rock Hotel in Temple Bar. When settling his bill of €787 (US$861), which included room service charges, it was discovered that he had made the payment using an American woman’s credit card number, leaving her shocked.

Consequently, instead of taking the stage for his performance, Nox was arrested for deception. He underwent questioning and was subsequently held in police custody until his appearance before Judge John Hughes at a weekend sitting of Dublin District Court.

During the proceedings, Nox compensated the hotel for their financial loss, and he additionally made a charitable contribution of €100. Judge Hughes, taking into account the potential impact on Nox’s career and ability to tour, opted not to convict the singer. In return, Nox agreed to visit St Andrews youth club in Pearse Street to educate and inspire the children there with his music, as stated by The Irish Sun.

Following his release on bail, Nox’s case has been adjourned until September, awaiting further legal proceedings. The Irish Sun report also highlights that Nox pleaded guilty to the charge of obtaining services by deception at the hotel, using another individual’s Mastercard number.

In defence of his client, Nox’s lawyer, Alexander Rafter, explained that the singer had not personally made the hotel booking, emphasising that an unnamed promoter had handled the arrangements on his behalf.

Continue Reading

Trending