Police in Zimbabwe set up WhatsApp hotline +263 782475000

via Police set up WhatsApp hotline | SW Radio Africa by Mthulisi Mathuthu on Friday, May 9, 2014

Activists have urged members of the public to take advantage of a new police WhatsApp hotline to expose incidents of corruption and human rights violations by the police.

An official statement this week said the police have set up WhatsApp number +263 782475000 to facilitate crime reporting by members of the public. The statement said the number will be on 24 hour monitoring to ‘allow for immediate attention for any issues sent through.’

Youth Forum, a lobby group championing democracy, called on all Zimbabweans within the country and abroad to use the line to ‘report any incidents of police corruption.’ In a statement, the forum also urged the public to report incidents of ‘police brutality’ and if possible send photographs of incidents through.’

The forum urged the police to treat every tip off seriously and act on all issues with the seriousness they deserve. The forum said it is common knowledge that police officers, especially those in the traffic section, were corrupt.

The spokesman for the Human Rights group Ibhetshu Lika Zulu, Edwin Ndlovu, encouraged people to report corruption by traffic cops. He said they should report the time and the police vehicle numbers.

However, Ndlovu expressed fears that the new facility could be a trap because the police would be able to identify people who would have reported and then pursue them. He said: ‘It might be a good facility at face value, but at the same time it could have negative consequences, because the police will be able to identify most of the numbers. These days, mobile phone lines are sold on condition that you register your details.’

Ndlovu’s concerns were shared by the spokesman for the Gwanda Residents for Social Order, Mike Phiri, who said many people will be afraid to report police corruption. Phiri said the people might use the line to report ordinary criminals, but not the police themselves.

Police in Zimbabwe generally act with impunity. Last week a video showing suspected plain clothes officers bashing a couple who were allegedly caught being intimate at a police camp, was circulating in the social media.

They were ordered to lie on their stomachs and were whipped on their backs while other cops filmed them, making sure only the couple could be identified.

Recently, NewsDay editor Nevanji Madanhire and his reporter Moses Matenga were charged for publishing a story about the death of a Harare toddler, who was knocked down by a commuter omnibus fleeing from police officers who were demanding a bribe.

Where action is taken against the police, officers often escape with a slap on their wrist. This week the Zimbabwe Republic Police, instead of prosecuting and dismissing corrupt officers, simply transferred them to different parts of the country. The move will see about 2,000 police officers from the traffic and minerals units transferred from urban to remote areas and vice versa.

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18 comments on “Police in Zimbabwe set up WhatsApp hotline +263 782475000
  1. LUCY says:

    You see a crocodile basking in the sun with its mouth open and eyes shut and you think ‘oh what fun it would be to sit in there for a second’ snap!

    What have the Police ever done to expect people to trust them that much?Who is to guarantee that even if you provide pictures of acts by corrupt officers they will be brought to book and you will be hailed as a model citizen.?

    • publicprotector says:

      They have actually done a great deal, marginalized by propaganda journalists that local thickies believe. It is good that one journalist is trying to be fair,at last.

  2. shumba liverpool says:

    Zvi Ri Pi? = ZRP?..

  3. Doris says:

    Don’t have enough cops to react!

  4. roving ambassador. says:

    A futile exercise . Zanu must go , PERIOD.

    • publicprotector says:

      It is sad that journalists think they can write stories and don’t need fact or evidence!
      When faced with comments with evidence availsable challenging their rubbish they moderate it.
      Truth and fact just are not around.
      I mean just look at the journalists’ fact, suspected plain clothes officers?? Could we not all be suspected plain clothes police officers- really, why cant journalists like this be moderated before they legitimately get arrested and charged.
      Why do the press only moderate fact and truth.

    • publicprotector says:

      @roving ambassador. A futile statement roving ambassador must go

    • Petal says:

      @Roving Ambassador think most will agree with you!

  5. Rwendo says:

    There are so many cases of political violence, including murder, from way back in 2000 and corruption (Kereke vs Gono comes to mind) where names and witnesses have come forward and what has been done? Zilch. Indeed in 2012 Transparency International ranked us 163 out of 176 for least corrupt countries.

    Instead of taking on more workload why not deal with the many outstanding cases on their plate? Take us for fools nhaika?

  6. magaro says:

    this is insane,risking our lives lyk.wat if they tress us

  7. Charles Chamunorwa says:

    Ask my friend Komichi of the MDC T what happens if you report an incident to the ZRP-Zimbabwe Rest in Peace

  8. Da Boss says:

    Will be watching this for new developments about this WhatsApp no.

  9. Zvichanaka says:

    They want to use this tool as a way of checking on the people. Dont be fooled!

  10. Makrivhazhi+ngoda says:

    Lets see what happens nxt

  11. ntaba says:

    You can have a hundred hot lines or even a thousand – but if Zanu control those that manage them it will create a Zanu managed outcome just like the elections in Zimbabwe or Putin saving the people of Crimea! Did Zanu and the Zanu Republic Police not protect the people in Matabeleland with the Fifth Brigade as their assistants? And then the Zanu republic Police oversaw the Land Reform Programme by protecting people like Martin Olds and David Stephens, and Charles Anderson and property of course like Kondozi. Oh yes – we do all know how the ZRP works.

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