POLICE Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri yesterday accused his officers of negligent driving and wrecking the force’s vehicle fleet, causing some stations to fail to attend to crime scenes due to lack of transport.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Briefing members of the joint Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs, Defence and Security and the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security at the Police General Headquarters in Harare, Chihuri defended the decision to buy top-of-the-range vehicles for senior police officers at a time some stations were operating without a single service vehicle.
“It’s a lie that we don’t give them vehicles. Such kind of statements, I call them frivolous and loaded with no truths at all. If you were to check with our records, you will find that we give them vehicles, but most of these people are reckless. They damage the vehicles and when they come to you, they will say ‘we were not given any vehicle’ or ‘we don’t have’,” he said.
“I can give you my own experience from my rural area in Madziva (Mashonaland Central). The police station was allocated a Defender and the officer-in-charge, who comes from Mutoko, decided to take the car to his rural home and it got damaged there. He then called to be rescued, and because they had a Madza already, he demanded that it comes to rescue him, it also got damaged.
“Most of these people drive these vehicles on top of trees (sic) and they are damaged. How then do you want me to help them? Should I not have a car here or the senior officers not get cars because of that? How then will we travel when we want to do our duties?”
The police boss said some officers, besides being reckless, were lazy and had “a negative attitude towards work”.
The two parliamentary committees were on a fact-finding tour of police projects and to get an appreciation of how the organisation operates.
Chihuri said he was not happy with the conditions of service set by the government for his officers.
After his presentation, legislators toured various projects that were fast becoming white elephants, as the government was failing to fund the completion of the buildings. These include the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters, flats for police officers and the clothing factory that needs capitalisation, among other initiatives.