Tell us how we are performing —Cops


BULAWAYO: – Police here have embarked on public outreach programmes soliciting views on how the force could reform in order to conform with the requirements of the inclusive government.
They have since June 22 been conducting surveys to gather views from the public on their performance since the signing of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) in September 2008.
The programme is set to last two weeks.
Bulawayo police spokesperson, Inspector Mandlenkosi Moyo, told NewsDay yesterday that thei surveys were aimed at gauging their services in a bid to assist the force – always criticised as partisan – to transform.
“We are undertaking an opinion survey to gauge our services. We want to provide proper services, satisfactory services to the public and adhere to the most professional standards,” Moyo said.
“It (survey) gives us pointers on what and where to improve on in so far as policing is concerned.”
Police have always been under attack for reportedly being partisan and heavy handed when dealing with public protests and political cases and activities.
In fact, they have been labelled an extension of Zanu PF by the general citizenry.
Public protests by civic groups and opposition parties have been ruthlessly thwarted by the police while those by Zanu PF and war veterans go ahead without state interference.
Besides being reportedly partisan, the police have been rocked by alleged corruption among its rank and file prompting Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri to publicly denounce the dishonesty tarnishing its image. Effie Ncube, a Bulawayo based analyst, said the surveys were “not necessary as the security forces need only stick to statutes of world policing standards.
“It is really not necessary,” Ncube said. “Policing standards are the same throughout the world and police need to just follow them and stop being partisan and an extension of political parties especially Zanu PF.
“The police force should be professional and work in accordance with the country’s constitution and not a political party. Reform of the police force is extremely important in line with other ongoing reforms in terms of the GPA.”
Reform of the country’s security services is part of the conditions of Zimbabwe’s unity pact signed between President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur Mutambara.
Article 13.2(a) of the power sharing pact states “that there be inclusion in the training curriculum of members of the uniformed forces on subjects on human rights, international humanitarian law and statute law so that there is greater understanding and full appreciation of their roles and duties in a multi-party democratic system.”
The section acknowledges that the uniformed forces were previously discharging their duties in a partisan manner and disregarded basic human rights.