Residents in the high-density suburb of Mbare are outraged at the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) which has turned Mbare into a training ground for its recruits.
Every morning especially weekends, residents are forced to wake up as early as 5am because they cannot enjoy their sleep as the overzealous police recruits besiege the suburbs by toy-toying and singing revolutionary songs in the wee hours of the morning, during what appear to be training sessions.
What has angered most residents is that the police recruits block traffic and disturb the poor, neglected people of Mbare who will be busy making a morning rush to Mbare Musika to go about their usual business.
During the liberation struggle and even after Independence, uniformed officers never trained in civilian neighbourhoods as is happening at the moment. For instance, the Zimbabwe National Army trains its recruits in Nyanga, Wafawafa and other remote areas and the ZRP should follow suit.
Has the ZRP has run out of training space so that they find “visual pollution” of Mbare, the city centre and other adjacent suburbs ideal?
If they do not have anywhere to train they should use their grounds at Morris Depot, where they can run for 100 laps which is equivalent to their cross-country marathons to Mbare and other areas.
This type of disturbance only started occurring after the advent of the robust Movement for Democratic Change in 1999.
Our conclusion is that this exercise is meant to intimidate and discourage defenceless civilians against participation in the democratic reform process.
When all is said and done, democracy is definitely coming.
Please, police commissioner general and co-ministers of Home Affairs, people in Mbare need peace — not the presence of marauding recruits who are always disturbing our poor grandmothers, children and everyone else from enjoying their well-earned sleep.