Zimbabwe police force needs serious reformation

via Zimbabwe police force needs serious reformation December 1, 2013 by Kimion Tagwirei The Standard

The once respected, responsible and credible Zimbabwe Republic Police has unexpectedly become one of the most disturbingly and unbearably dirty force, unfortunately at a time we seriously need a responsible, professional police force.

The general mandate of the police — enforcing the law, securing peace and order — has been gradually fading as the law enforcers dramatically turned to opportunists and corrupt money-mongers.

It has become public knowledge that the Zimbabwean police is turning roadblocks into money-spinning ventures, worsening most people mistrust of them.

When bribery and nepotism rise like how it has in the police force, it doesn’t affect involved parties alone, but the whole nation suffers the consequences. Some people begin to take the law into their own hands the same way police have done, and anarchy slowly grows.

Who disagrees that most of our police officers are now absolutely corrupt? Not only on the roads where their corruption now seems normal to many; but in almost all areas. Where one or two officers deal with a case, they can safely change goal posts, demand bribes and release criminals.

We have resultantly come to a point where the rich live above the law, while the poor succumb to any corrupt machinations in Zimbabwe. Cases abound of criminals who should have been paying hard for their crimes, who are however boasting of their freedom. They are seen with the same team of irresponsible police officers who should be enforcing the law.

Some connected criminals can play any game with the law in Zimbabwe just because of their political affiliation. If politics can protect a criminal from prosecution, criminality worsens and corruption deepens.

It’s disturbing that police chiefs have lost bearing due to politics. Seemingly safe under political cover, the spirit of corruption overflowed from the top to bottom ranks. This overflow touched almost all hungry officers who embraced it. Corruption spreads like a veld fire in the police force. In fact, it has moved like light — so fast that very few, if any, police officers are still clean in Zimbabwe.

Most Zimbabweans now take bribery as the best (though evil) way to prevent hell on earth, in Zimbabwe — so they bow to that, or form and cherish friendships of convenience with police chiefs, at all costs; as long as the relationships create a conducive environment for survival, in business or any deal.

Many people just fear the famous police cliché — “I can arrest you!” which flashes mental images of unpredictable hellish encounters in our dirty cells and jails, so they find no better option than paying bribes.

The police usually demand bribes, indirectly or directly, depending with the situation. Zimbabweans tend to normalise the abnormal whenever abnormality worsens. There is no responsible authority making loud noise against corruption — so it becomes the order of the day. The anti-corruption commission seems to be a toothless bulldog. This leaves the innocent and helpless ordinary men questioning — who shall police the police?

Cases of police officers sued or fired for corruption are reported, but those are very few, of very unfortunate officers who failed to play the institutional game well, with their bosses.

The shameful police corruption is creeping like cancer throughout the whole nation. Two years ago the Southern African Anti-corruption Trust ranked our national traffic police as the most corrupt institution in the region. ZRP as a whole is undeniably one of the most corrupt institutions regionally. This is shameful to say the least. Surprisingly, we often hear the police commissioner general, Augustine Chihuri saying ZRP is a dedicated, professional and disciplined force, proficiently discharging their constitutional mandate.

When such words are spoken by a commissioner, during a time when a serious reformation process is needed, people wonder who would save them. Can hiding behind fingers make up the messed up image of the police force? Zimbabweans know the truth.

If corruption is to be dealt with in Zimbabwe, it must begin with the police. These politicised officers are the major culprits. It becomes ridiculous that they are the very people expected to root out corruption. Our government must formulate and implement mechanisms that will deal with institutionalised corruption at all levels.

Feedback; tagwireik@gmail.com



  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 10 years ago

    get rid of chihure

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    Kalusha 10 years ago

    Ministry of home affairs should invest in technology like what has been done with toll gates,install equipment that books cars cars that enter red robots not mupurisa ane mboma

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    Police force??? What police force??? We do not have a “police force” in Zimbabwe!!! OOOOH you mean those gangsters in uniform?? They should all be behind bars for a long time…they are good for nothing road robbers and do not have a clue about honour and decency!

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    Peter tosh 10 years ago

    GBZ, well laid out bredrin.

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    Boss MyAss 10 years ago

    No food, no money, no education, no water, no electricity, no roads, no lights, no freedom, no human rights, no dignity, no future, no respect, no self-esteem, no civilization, no beliefs, no ethics, no common sense, no moral values, no principles. I am proud racist, living with fear, xenophobia, corruption, surrounded by beggars, wise guys, simpletons. I expect nothing, I am nothing, and I am the global disgrace.

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    Mr Mixed Race 10 years ago

    The article is correct however it left out the most important thing to do to start reducing rates of police corruption on our roadblocks.We must accept that for corruption to survive we need to have a free giver and free taker. I have seen some members of the public bribing officers instead of insisting to be ticketed.As I know the law,it does not compel you to have a spot fine if you are a Zimbabwean,therefore we must all refuse to pay at roadblocks until you have a valid ticket.This would compel the crooked police officer to have an official ticket.I have been threatened many times, but I have refused to submit to their empty threats with great success.My advice to my countrymen is not to encourage these police to get away with corruption.

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      Boss MyAss 10 years ago

      There’s NOT such a thing as a on the spot fine. There’s NOT. The law says that you should receive a ticket, if you agree that you did something wrong, and you have 7 days to pay this ticket at any police station close to you. You must first accept and sign before you sign the ticket. Stop paying for nothing, don’t let them take and hold your driving licenses, your IDs or whatever. Fight for your rights, fight for the law enforcement.

      The National complaints line is (04) 703631 (24 HOUR Service)

      If you feel that while you are being questioned or searched at a roadblock, the details involved have harassed you, hinted for bribes, or been generally aggressive, you are advised to contact the ZRP Officers listed below.

      The intention is for all ZRP details to have their rank, name and numbers on their uniforms but with current constraints this is not always possible. Each Police Officer has a force number which should be given out if requested.

      It should be noted that there are NO SUCH THING AS SPOT FINES, without an OFFICIAL RECEIPT, which is Form Z69 (j) Admission of Guilt. Many Road Blocks carry Z69 (j) for the convenience of the public. Should it be inconvenient to pay immediately a “ticket” on Form 265 for payment at a Police Station within 7 days should be requested. Failure to report to a Police Station within 7 days once Form 265 is issued and will lead to prosecution.

      Superintendent PHIRI: – Public Relations

      Superintendent NCUBE: – 0772 719 730 or 0712 769 768

      Superintendent KANGWARE: – 0712 415 491

      Spokesperson Traffic Inspector Chigome: – 0772 965 030

      NATIONAL COMPLAINTS LINE: – 24 HOUR Service (04) 703 631

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    Mr Mixed Race 10 years ago

    Thanks for the information.I am well armed now for justice and fairness.

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    The above regulations, gazetted on 17th September 2010, were declared Null & Void in June 2013, and therefore the following changes which were introduced in S.I. 154 of 2010 are no longer enforceable by authorities. See the list of previously repealed Regulations on page 805 of S.I. 154 of 2010, which would now come back into force. In summary, the following are the major issues that revert to the former regulations:
    1. Width of Motor Vehicle (5.1) and Trailer (5.2): The maximum width of a vehicle reverts to 2,5 metres.
    2. Left hand Drive Vehicles (10): The ban on LHD vehicles is effectively now Null & Void.
    3. Reversing Lamps (27) are no longer mandatory
    4. Spot Lights (28) The fitting of these is no longer regulated.
    5. Height marker lamps – front & rear & side marker lamps (30): No longer mandatory.
    6. Red & White Reflectors (32): White reflectors in front and red reflectors at the rear remain a requirement, but the stipulation of the retro reflective tape is no longer enforceable. The front white and rear red reflectors no longer have to be a continuous strip across the width of a heavy vehicle, but only need to be 300mm in length and extend to within 400mm of the outer edge of the vehicle – S.I. 224 of 1980 as amended, refers.
    7. Amber Reflectors (40): the requirement for amber reflectors along the sides of any vehicles or combination exceeding 8 metres in length is no longer mandatory.
    8. ‘Breakdown’ Triangle (52): Reflective breakdown triangles are no longer mandatory.
    9. Serviceable Spare Wheel, working jack and appropriate wheel spanner (53): are no longer mandatory.
    10. Reflective vest: Were only mandatory for cyclists and motor cyclists in S.I. 154, but are no longer mandatory.
    11. Fire Extinguishers inside the Cab (53): Light vehicles (750g) and heavy vehicles (1,5kg) – are no longer mandatory.
    12. Speed Monitoring and Speed limiting Devices (64): Working tachographs were required on heavy vehicles with net mass exceeding 4,600kg in S.I. 62 of 1988 and record cards had to be retained for possible inspection for no less than 6 months.
    13. Motor Vehicle Import – Type Approval (65): The ban on vehicles that are over 5 years old is now null & void.
    14. It Must be Noted: A cracked windscreen is NOT AN OFFENCE. A Shattered windscreen is an offence. Over 90 % of windscreens are SHATTERPROOF . You cannot see through a shattered windscreen.

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    Thanx for d information, we ar fed up of these corrupt officers. As citizens we need to rise up and expose these culprits who are very incompetent and corrupt. Shame, shame on them.