BY VANESSA GONYE
Police recruits are now required to undergo mandatory victim-friendly training to enable them to appreciate human rights issues related to sexual abuse and gender-based violence (GBV).
This was revealed by the Zimbabwe Republic Police Victim Friendly Unit national co-ordinator Chief Superintendent Jessie Banda while addressing journalists during a United Nations Population Fund and Zimbabwe Union of Journalists media sensitisation training on GBV held in Harare at the weekend.
Banda said police had crafted a new curriculum for pre-service training on victim-friendly issues.
In the past, GBV and sexual violence cases were not given the full attention they deserved as there were few specialised victim-friendly police officers.
“New recruits will be trained on victim-friendly issues as a means to enhance knowledge of the force. They want to do away with specialisation so that it becomes easier to transfer officers without fears of creating a gap,” Banda said.
“If you go to a police station and an officer tells you that they don’t take cases that wouldn’t have occurred in their jurisdiction, know that it is dereliction of duty. It is not about where you stay, it is about where the crime has occurred that determines where it is going,” she said.
Musasa Project legal officer Tinashe Chitunhu bemoaned delays endured by GBV victims before their cases are processed and brought to court.
“There are a lot of loopholes in dealing with GBV issues and we continue engaging service providers over the issue. Everyone in the country should know the referral pathway. We have tried to develop a referral pathway that is short enough so that a survivor can get prompt treatment,” she said.