Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga yesterday warned rogue members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) that they were living on borrowed time as the force had moved a gear up to flush out unruly elements as part of its rebranding exercise.
By Stephen Chadenga
Addressing police officers during a provincial tour in Gweru, Matanga said he was prepared to vouch for police officers if they in turn were prepared to execute their constitutional mandate diligently.
Matanga said he was aware that at times, members of the public, unfairly criticised police officers, due to misinformation and lack of appreciation of the role of the police in the socio-economic development of the country.
“To this end, I wish to make it very clear that for as long as you do your work properly and within the confines of the law, I am prepared to put my head on the block in defence of your policing actions,” Matanga said.
“Let me hasten to remind you that my office is no refuge for police officers whose actions make a mockery of our motto. Anyone who strays from the path of righteousness in terms of policing, then such an individual is working at cross purposes with the organisation and naturally has no place in the organisation.”
He said no one was above the law, including members of the police force, adding that if there were corrupt elements in the force, they were “living on borrowed time”.
Matanga reiterated that police officers should increase their visibility through increased patrol units to reduce the crime rate.
The police boss challenged his subordinates to ensure a violent-free election.
“I wish to reiterate that you are duty-bound to create an environment that is conducive to the holding of free, fair, peaceful, credible and transparent elections in this province,” he said.
“As a province, you must ensure that all your personnel are fully acquainted and conversant with their duties and responsibilities as outlined in the 2018 elections handbook which the organisation prepared for distribution to all members.”
He appealed to police officers to increase awareness campaigns, discouraging members of the public from engaging in politically-motivated violence, but to tolerate divergent views.