Sharon Chimenya, Masvingo Correspondent
MORE than 30 000 police officers are staying in rented private properties due to a massive shortage of accommodation, a situation that is compromising their security and work.
Speaking during his visit to Masvingo police on Thursday last week, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe said the shortage of accommodation among police officers was a major concern.
“Certainly, resource constraints manifest through an array of challenges, key among them being the shortage of residential and office accommodation, transport and non-payment of travelling and subsistence allowances. The shortage of accommodation which has, unfortunately resulted in some members seeking private rental accommodation has always been a cause of concern.
“This position is unpleasant given that apart from compromising the security of members, it also has huge financial implications. To that end efforts are being made to ensure police officers and members get decent accommodation,” he said.
Minister Kazembe said it was imperative that police officers be resourced with high-powered vehicles in order to enhance prevention, investigation and detection of crime.
Police Commissioner-General Goodwin Matanga said they have 12 000 housing units in which 18 760 officers have been accommodated and over 30 000 police officers are renting private accommodation.
“I wish to place on record that, the Zimbabwe Republic Police has only 12 000 housing units that are accommodating 18 760 police officers. Of these, 10 945 are sharing. Resultantly, over 30 000 police officers are renting private accommodation, a situation that compromises security of our members. It is therefore, my fervent hope and prayer that Government urgently intervenes,” he said.
Masvingo, like other provinces, is facing challenges of acute shortage of transport, fuel, shortage of office and residential accommodation and stationery. Minister Kazembe Kazembe said the Government remains alive to the challenges and efforts are being made to improve police agility and effectiveness through the procurement of more operational vehicles.
“It is common knowledge that emerging crimes such as cyber-crimes are redefining the policing terrain. Criminality has become highly sophisticated given that perpetrators are making use of technological advancement to enhance their criminal activities.
We are, thus, mindful of the need to capacitate Zimbabwe Republic Police with modern crime prevention, investigation and detection equipment to enable the organisation to keep abreast of criminal sophistry,” he said.
Minister Kazembe warned those engaging in corruption activities that the law will soon catch up with them in the drive to eradicate corrupt activities.
“Our people are alleged to be engaged in, and or abetting corruption. This is a tag that we no longer sustain, especially under the dictates of Vision 2030 and the National Development Strategy1. It is, therefore, incumbent upon all of us, to dispense with our utmost efforts towards the elimination of corruption,” he said.