via Chihuri blames poor pay for ZRP sleaze 10/11/2013 NewZimbabwe
ZRP chief Augustine Chihuri has urged the government to address working conditions for the police and suggested that poor salaries were encouraging vice in the organisation.
Junior police officers are notorious for demanding bribes, especially from motorists, but the ZRP was recently forced to admit that the rot also affected its top ranks.
Addressing a senior officers’ conference in Harare last week, Chihuri said an improvement in the conditions of service was needed adding the situation was quite “dire” in many cases.
“Conditions of services, particularly salaries and accommodation, are at the centre of hardships faced by police officers,” he said.
“I am not at all trying to justify corruption and those who are corrupt will surely face stiff punishment, but some of the situations are just dire and provoke corrupt tendencies.
“Honourable ministers, the following areas need urgent attention from Government to help smoothen police operations; underfunding which has become perennial, erratic and unpredictable not only continues to choke police operations, but in some cases has eaten away the gains achieved over the years.”
Zanu PF has since agreed to increase civil service wages in line with the country’s poverty datum line which the government estimates at US$540 per month.
The ZRP recently admitted that a number of senior cops had been forced to retire after being implicated in corrupt activities.
Chihuri initially claimed the cops were leaving after reaching the retirement age of 50 only for his national spokesperson to admit, a day later, that some had been kicked out over graft.
Said Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba last month: “The involvement of Commissioner Oliver Chibage and others in all these cases is a matter which falls in the purview of police discipline which has already been handled under the Police Act and the matter has been finalised.
“With regards to the issue concerning Commissioner Chibage, we wish to advise as follows; that the action taken by the police is commensurate to the involvement of the said officers.
“The organisation has no policy of over-killing a matter in pandering to the whims of the hard-hearted who would want to see a mountain falling and burying Chibage.”