Budget constraints hamper police operations

Source: Budget constraints hamper police operations | The Herald

Budget constraints hamper police operations
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Permanent Secretary Mr Aaron Nhepera addresses the media while flanked by Deputy Commissioner General Elliot Ngirandi in Harare yesterday. — Picture: Maxwell Tapatapa

Taka Shambare Correspondent

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is failing to sustain operations and patrols due to budget constraints and inadequate equipment, posing a threat to the provision of optimal security services in the country, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage said on Wednesday.

Increasing incidents of crime and road traffic offences have been attributed to failure by the police to sustain operations and patrols.

For example, on January 15, the police launched nationwide patrols against unregistered vehicles, some of which, the police said, were being used to commit crimes such as robberies, netting hundreds of unregistered vehicles, and forcing owners to regularise their vehicles.

But, hardly days after the police patrols decreased by the end of the month, unregistered vehicles and illegal commuter omnibuses returned.

This has brought to the fore the need to adequately fund the police to enable them to sustain crucial security operations and patrols.  

Confirming the challenges faced by the police, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Permanent Secretary Aaron Nhepera said, “The major challenge there is funding, the police service is severely underfunded. Treasury has no capacity to give them all the resources that they require to operate optimally,” he said in an interview with New Ziana.

“That is where the major challenge is, if you see they (the police) are not visible, it is as if they are neglecting certain areas, but it is because they are under-resourced in terms of vehicles, in terms of equipment and everything else, but we are working flat-out to ensure that they are adequately resourced.”

Mr Nhepera said the ministry was engaging Treasury for adequate funding. 

For the 2022 fiscal year, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, under which the ZRP falls, was allocated a total of $49,4 billion.

“As a ministry that is where we are focusing on most, to get Treasury to fund police operations, but we are aware that cannot be done overnight,” he said.

He said boosting staff establishment, although not a top priority, was crucial. 

“We are happy (with the staff establishment) because the gap between the current strength and the establishment is not so huge, it is just a couple of thousands, but I think we can make up for that once we get the right equipment for the job,” he said.

In December last year, President Mnangagwa issued a warning against perpetrators of violent crimes following an upsurge in armed robberies targeting corporates and individuals, who keep large sums of money.

In his Unity Day address, President Mnangagwa said the Government now treated violent crime as a threat to personal and national security.

“Lately, we have witnessed an upsurge in gun-related crimes. There is a clear upsurge in abuse of firearms, including violent armed robberies,” he said then.

“Government now treats this as a grave threat to personal and national security. Decisive measures have now become necessary to put an end to this growing menace which threatens our otherwise peaceful, law-abiding nation and citizenry. Those who dabble in arms will soon fall by the sword. Let them be warned.”

As part of efforts by the Second Republic to capacitate police, President Mnangagwa commissioned 82 vehicles for use in different policing activities in August last year.

The vehicles including 46 single-cab Ford Rangers, 24 Kia Picanto, nine Kia Rio, two Renault kwd and One Renault Logan were handed over to the police in recognition of the role of security in engendering sustainable economic development. – New Ziana.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 1
  • comment-avatar
    Mukanya 4 months ago

    Inadequate funding for policing authentic crime incidences, but for policing political rivals its in abundance….!