Go ye and enforce the law

Source: Go ye and enforce the law | The Herald 16 NOV, 2018

Go ye and enforce the lawPresident Mnangagwa addresses members of the police force and guests during a Zimbabwe Republic Police graduation parade at Morris Depot, Harare, yesterday

I AM pleased and honoured to officiate at this important event, not only in the lives of these young men and women graduating today, but also to the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the nation as a whole.

This particular occasion is momentous as it comes after the advent of the New Dispensation and the Second Republic, whereupon our nation has a new lease of life and greater impetus to turn around every sector of our economy as we strive to achieve upper middle income economy status by 2030.

At the onset, allow me to join the families, relatives and friends in congratulating today’s graduands who successfully completed the rigorous one-year competence-based police recruit training programme.

I am aware that this programme involved on-the-job training, where recruits were attached to various police stations countrywide, before coming back for final refinement, polishing and to remedy identified shortcomings.

I call upon you to constantly review the curriculum of the training programme so that it remains relevant in moulding police officers who have the requisite attributes of professionalism, loyalty, patriotism and unyielding devotion to jealously guard the pillars of peace, law and order in our nation.

It is further commendable that the Zimbabwe Republic Police, as a national institution, recruits officers from all districts who are subsequently deployed to any part of the country. Each officer is expected to know some of the languages in the Constitution and culture of the community where he or she serves. This practice must be perpetuated with no deviation, to enhance national harmony, cohesion and unity. We are one people, united by one flag and one national anthem…

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Comrades and Friends,

Today’s graduands undertook courses in Political History of Zimbabwe; Human Rights and Policing; the Constitution of Zimbabwe; Public Order Management; Community Policing; Traffic Enforcement and an appreciation of a wide array of statutes.

In line with evolving modern crimes, it is pleasing that the police recruits also undertook lessons related to the investigation of modern crimes such as terrorism, trafficking of persons, drugs and arms.

I am confident that this rich selection of courses has transformed the graduands into patriotic, disciplined, honest, reliable, capable, hardworking, devoted and a “corruption-free” generation of police officers.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The 21st century has brought about rapid mutations in the information, communication and technology sphere; over and above the socio-economic and political aspects of security, as well as law and order maintenance. Criminals have also seized the opportunity to abuse such advancements to achieve their own nefarious ends, thus heightening the insecurity and safety risks to citizens.

We must modernise ZRP to be technologically savvy, responsive and robust in view of the well-coordinated criminal syndicates who manipulate current trends.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police must undertake programmes that earn the police force public trust and confidence. In the same vein, I encourage the public, at every level, to respect the authority of the police as borne out of the Constitution and a critical partner to law enforcement and State security architecture.

On its part, Government is committed to support ZRP to acquire modern, advanced training, investigation and crime detecting and monitoring capability.

Distinguished Guests,

The advent of the New Dispensation and the Second Republic saw the expansion of democratic space in our country, as enshrined in our Constitution. This culminated in the holding of peaceful, free, fair and credible harmonised general elections. However, it is regrettable that some retrogressive, unpatriotic and selfish individuals are bent on abusing the democracy we now enjoy.

I urge the ZRP and all citizens in general, to be more focused towards inculcating a united, peaceful and harmonious society. Let us collectively entrench constitutionalism, the rule of law, accountability, transparency and other democratic tenets, as we build the Zimbabwe we all want.

The unfortunate and violent incident that took place in the streets of Harare on the 1st of August 2018 is not only regrettable, but has no place in the new Zimbabwe. The Commission of Inquiry looking into the event is expected to complete its work soon and its findings will be made public.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On the economic front, the ongoing engagement and re- engagement policy, together with the vast economic reforms and the implementation of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme are turning the economic tide and boosting confidence across all sectors of the economy.

Furthermore, we will continue to plug the holes and stop the economic haemorrhaging of our economy being perpetrated by cartels of individuals and businesses. These unscrupulous elements are manipulating and subverting our economic turnaround efforts for opportunistic and greedy ends, thereby abetting the suffering of our people.

The police must fully acquaint themselves with the reforms and associated legal instruments which have been put in place to deal with these various challenges. In addition, the ZRP should increase its co-ordination with the newly established Anti-Corruption Unit, as well as the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, National Prosecuting Authority, Ministry of Finance and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, among other stakeholders, to bring to book all economic criminals and saboteurs.

I equally encourage the public to be forthcoming in reporting crimes of all form and types at every level. In the Second Republic, there are no sacred cows. No one is above the law. Our laws will be enforced without fear or favour.

Meanwhile, I wish to commend the Zimbabwe Republic Police for distinguishing itself before, during, and after the harmonised general elections.

Our police officers deployed to Sadc, African Union and United Nations Peacekeeping Missions and assignments also continue to acquit themselves with distinction, raising our national flag high.

Distinguished Guests,

Government recognises the need to urgently address the critical resource challenges in our police force in the discharge of their duties. Notably, we are aware of the current challenges being experienced by the ZRP for traffic law enforcement, primarily due to increasing volumes of vehicles on our roads across the country. It saddening and most unfortunate that lives are being lost daily through road traffic accidents.

To this end, Government will increase its support to the police to speedily finalise its electronic traffic management system. This will see the installation of digital cameras and other monitoring gadgets at traffic intersections and along our highways.

Presently, the Police Service Commission has been tasked to craft a budget document which comprehensively covers the needs and requirements of the force.

To the graduating recruits;

I implore you to uphold the virtues of loyalty, commitment and professionalism as you go out to your various stations. I challenge you to live up to the standard and requirements of your profession.

Go out and diligently serve the people of Zimbabwe as beacons of justice, law and order. Build harmonious relations between your police stations and the communities you serve. Remember that everything you do reflects not only on you, but the ZRP and Government as a whole. As police officers, shun corruption and never succumb to the temptation to advance self-interest ahead of the broader aspirations of the people whom you serve.

I challenge you to be agents of the modernisation of our police force through continuous study, increasing your technical abilities, professional acumen and specialised training. More importantly, always be better prepared than the criminals you will meet in your line of work.

Congratulations once again.

Makorokoto! Amhlope!

I wish you well and great success in your policing careers.

God bless you all!

God bless Zimbabwe!

I thank you.