BY BLESSED MHLANGA
POLICE operations and ability to deliver their mandate have been hit by acute shortage of basic tools to combat crime, including vehicles, stationery for dockets and communication devices.
Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga acknowledged the problems during the closing ceremony of a refresher training course at Morris Depot in Harare yesterday.
“I have had the privilege to interact with your peers. A number of issues were brought to my attention, including shortage of both office and residential accommodation. There is need to refurbish and renovate police stations and other organisational infrastructure, unavailability of stationery, lack of tools of trade, including uniforms, communication equipment, transport and fuel,” Matanga said.
Police have to rely on well-wishers to donate consumables such as bond paper for officers to prepare dockets for court and at times, criminals themselves chip in, in return for favours.
Matanga said his command was aware of the challenges which also include an underpaid police force, struggling to make ends meet and was working to correct these anomalies.
“As a command, we are seized with these issues, while efforts have already been made to address some of them,”
The Zimbabwe Republic Police has engaged in a number of public relations interventions and restructuring in an effort to rescue its tainted image as a rogue police force.
Matanga said in the past, the police could have done a number of things in a better way, but failed, earning a bad reputation.
“As an organisation, we are aware that in the recent past we could have done things better. With that realisation in mind, we have set ourselves on a trajectory to redeem ourselves through various endeavours which include the ongoing training programme,” Matanga said.