NewsDay Editorial: ZRP needs complete overhaul

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Not a day passes without a story in the newspapers about policemen caught on the wrong side of the law.

NewsDay Editorial

The crimes cops commit range from theft to murder.

Criminal acts by policemen are not confined to junior members of the force only, but also to those at the very top of the hierarchy.

This week alone, a senior officer was incarcerated for facilitating the release of a fraud suspect thereby breaking the Police Act in the most deplorable manner for a person supposed to know better, another policeman was brought before the courts for attempted murder.

The prevalence of criminal activity among policemen can no longer be attributed to a rogue element within the force. It is time the Ministry of Home Affairs took a really serious look at how the force works and the culture that has developed over the years.

Clearly, the economic and political crises that affected the country over the past 14 years have impacted in a bad way on the operations of most arms of government and the police force has been the hardest hit.

The politicisation of the police was one aspect that gravely compromised police work. During the subsistence of the political crisis, officers often acted like commissars for Zanu PF. It is not difficult to explain, therefore, the seamless transition of some officers from the Police General Headquarters (PGHQ) into Parliament.

As the economic crisis bit, police officers were encouraged to fund operations through money accumulated in the form of traffic fines. Officers saw this as an opportunity to also line their own pockets as official remuneration became useless in the face of hyperinflation.

If the truth be told, the police force began to be an enemy of the very people it was meant to serve. The culture of impunity which saw officers literally getting away with murder has been engrained in the psyche of every policeman, and an aura of invincibility pervades every police camp, corrupting every policeman beyond measure.

Recently, senior officers have been retired from the force for involving themselves in corrupt activities and a few traffic cops have committed suicide when caught red-handed with cash extorted from motorists.

While this shows that the powers at PGHQ are doing something about corruption — and they must be applauded for this — the general feeling is that this will not root out corruption in the force completely.

An entrenched culture cannot be changed in a piecemeal manner; the whole culture has to be uprooted in a revolutionary way. This will obviously be costly and demand the kind of will absent in the minds of the current police leadership.

What is needed is a new police force with a different ethos altogether and, change should begin at the top.

26 COMMENTS

  1. over directing yo arrow on police after yes bt tl thnk they’re nt tht bad ……ko inga kwenyu kumapepa zvirikowo wani

  2. chihuri hs overstayed .he must resign n some1 with a new n clean broom must come in n w will see how it goes.

  3. fear of the unknown. there is life after police and moreover all the houses and vehicles move up and down they don’t belong to police. musatye

  4. You are spot on Newsday. The policisation or rather zanufication of the police was the root of the current corruption in the ZRP. For example, the police were powerless to act if a member of zanu pf committed a crime. However, they were quick to pounce on any suspect deemed to be a member of the opposition party. The police realised that they could also make money if they align themselves with zanu pf and that means they could get away with any criminal activities as long as they chanted party slogans. This permeated to parastatals too. Hence Muchechetere covered up his maladministration by pointing at the shadows of ‘political machinations’ by the opposition and their ‘Western imperialists’ as the source of all problems at ZBC. I wouldn’t be surprised if one ‘clever’ police officer would claim that it’s sanctions that has caused him to solicit a bribe from motorists.

  5. The cancer afflicting the ZRP is a reflection of how rotten our society is. The situation obtaining in our society has contaminated all arms of government! Who will prescribe the right medicine for our political, economic, social, technological, legal and ethical ills?

  6. Our Police Force is a band of angels. These isolated incidences are nothing but just that isolated.

  7. The News Day has a bone to chew with the Police. Since 1 January, there has been a police story everyday. Some of the issues raised are unfounded. Why is it that News Day is only paper on the land that is unrelentingly reporting on issues of the police force?

    • @Truth- It is precisely for this reason that the paper continues to fly off the shelves! Newsday are simply giving their readership what they are asking for..is this not the MAIN ingredient in making good offerings?

    • If the truth be told, police corruption is stinking like the sewerage laden waters of Mukuvisi .Well reported Newsday. Expose them.there are more bad apples in the force than good ones.

  8. This is might have been a decent editorial but unfortunately the prescribed solution to the problem in the end is disappointing. Just say it as it is, we need new political leadership in Zim, period, then maybe everything else may begin to change as well

  9. To clean up the police there is need to first of all remove Chihuri from the helm of the police and replace him with some outside of the police hierarchy eg army or the President’s office.

  10. hatidi kuvandirana hama dzadiwa mapurisa arikuba zvinoshamisa pasi rino makombi mazhinji ndeavo inda pa camp iri pedyo newe nhasi manheru or sunday vakazorora uwone ndudzi nendudzi dzemota raum,ipsum,noah,cvr,honda wat so ever al fuel saver cars ndokwadziri…ryt wabva po enda kuruzevha kusina kana dhiri kusina road bloc unochiona chinonz kutambura ini ndinodaro coz sekuru vangu mupurisa asi vari kumaruzevha vanoto nzwisa urombo coz kumusha unotopuwa cup yenyemba kubhadhara mhosva so ndinoti WELL DONE NEWS DAY HUMBAVHA HWANYANYA KUMAPURISA PANOTODA CHANGE OTHERWZ NYIKA IYA YAKUZO NETSA KUTONGA COZ KANA MASOJA AKAJOINAWO HUMBAVHA UHU HAPANA ACHA CONTROLLER UMWE!

  11. iwo mapurisa acho arikumbo puwa mathousand mangani kandi anoita kuti vave varidzi vemakombi eharare yose……imagine ukatanga kupiwa $20 a day pasina chawaita after a month wava shark 600 double yo pay woti plus ka pay wava nearly thousand in one month apa pa camp unogara mahara transport mahara magetsi mahara zvese mahara…ndiwe zvee urikuba ah ah ah ah ah ndoo kugarika ka ukuu….. Hey vanhu svunurai mhani news day irikutionesa makushora nxaaaa munofa muchitambura nekubirwa ini too much yes man thats y tichitongwa nemunhu one for 35yrs coz hatidi kufunga nekuona zvirikuitika nxaaa muri mastupid chaiwo vanhu vanoti mapurisa haasi kuba

  12. corruption is bad and it is harming the country. However,i would like to say its not the police alone but it includes us citizens,people like you and me Mr Editor. We are giving the police money and failing to report corruption becoz we are corrupt too. Fighting corruption begins wth us citizens and not removing Chihuri or waiting fo the gvt to act. nhai Mr Editor,pamunopa mapurisa mari paroad block,Chihuri anenge aripo??..food fo thought

    • Those citizens who are too patriotic and don’t want to be part of any corrupt deal and will refuse to pay any bribe whatsoever to the police or to anyone,who do you suggest they report the corrupt people and their activities to……. TUTHLESS ANTI CORRUPT COMMISSION ??. …..The country’s leaders are engaged in corruption and are immune to prosecution.Zunde Rekuba Pesepese(ZRP) is the most corrupt of all corrupt gangs in this country.

      • Well said. I was once stopped by police who wanted to fine me for not wearing a seat belt , I was driving one that did not have any. I asked him what was more dangerous , my driving without a seat belt and him driving a car that had too much positive camber. He told me to arrest him if I had the powers. Did I know how to effect a citizen arrest? Could I have effectively done so?

  13. All the Toyota Noahs plying the Harare– Nyamapanda Rd belongs to mere constables and all our major roads.Our police force is a disappointment.

  14. Its unfortunate we only talking of the Police as corrupt people. Ko iye apa mupurisa mari haasi corrupt here? Pliz let’s revisit maverses and chapters ecorruption and c. At the same tym let’s not look at 1 side. Handeyi kuZIMRA and c what is happening there. Let’s go kuma diamons and can anyone of u tell me just one building or any project being funded nemari yema diamons. Iwo achiko here? Let’s go kueducation. Temporary teaching ungaiwana usina mari here? Kana nzvimbo mutown is easy to get as long as your pocket is strong. So let me conclude by saying everyone in this country is corrupt in one way or the other.

  15. The police are under fire. Their comments are clear as mud on this thread. Guys you may have been left behind. Citizens are hardworking and generaly honest now. Move with the times. You solicit a bribe in a kombi with over 15 witnesses aboard and delay swathes of traffic during rush hour. Now you wonder: why us? Now it’s catching up with you. You have lost your way and it’s hard to get back now. It’s shameful whether Zimra or everyone else is doing it. ZRP should not do it. People are begining to refuse to pay bribes. You weren’t complaining: why us? when we were praising u for job well done a few years back

  16. Zunde Rekuba Pawadira (ZRP) Its either you are with them or against them, if you are against them they will arrest you on charges of undermining the enrichment of the ZRP and being a threat to the peace and stability of the state, unpatriotic and a puppet of the west.

  17. The whole ZRP police force does not deserve the uniforms they wear. They should ALL be imprisoned and made to serve at least 5 years of jail terms and be immediately stripped of thier Zimbabwean citizenship. They are an enemy to the public in Zimbabwe, and directly contribute to the current de-industrialisation of the nation and economic problems because of thier rampant corruption, extortion, and all forms of crimes against the dignity of the average Zimbabwean who requires thier service. ZRP is now a somewhat terrorist organization that should be done away with and a new force should be recruited and trained altogether. Serious offenses and crimes and traffic accidents are the order of the day and people no longer bother to make reports because you who appears before the police, will be treated like a criminal yet you wish to have justice, a basic human right, which is frustrated by ZRP.

  18. The genesis of this rot were the farm and land invasions starting in the year 2000 when the state legalised stealing. The ordinary policemen helped the politicians to steal from farms but did not benefit much in the invasions themselves: they are only aping the top politicians who enriched themselves by stealing farms, farm animals and farm equipment. The situation has been exacerbated by ZanuPF enlisting the services of these policemen to help blatantly steal elections. The policemen know that top politicians are crooks. It’s called plutocracy – everyone in a position of authority is stealing including those in the judiciary, chief executives, etc. Zimbabwe is a lawless society. The situation can only get worse.

  19. One sentence should read, “It’s called kleptocracy – everyone in a position of authority is stealing including those in the judiciary, chief executives, etc”.

  20. In my view Chihuri is the worst Police Chief the country has had, even taking into account those of the pre-independence era. He has been more like a political commissar of a certain part and under his watch corruption in the force has blossomed and bloomed.
    You needed to have gone to Sherwood(of the Hasha gold fame) to witness unbridled corruption. Not even one of the officers who ever served at Sherwood should have remained in the force. It is a scandal. They were simply disgraceful and I mean all of them.

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