Embattled ZRP promotes senior officers

THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has promoted 86 senior officers in a desperate bid to stop them from resigning amid reports of low morale over working conditions

THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has promoted 86 senior officers in a desperate bid to stop them from resigning amid reports of low morale over working conditions.

The ZRP is facing a myriad of challenges including mass resignations of senior and junior officers because of poor salaries.

A number of senior officers have also reportedly left the force after the government offered lucrative retirement packages, with sources indicating the Police General Headquarters is overwhelmed by requests for early retirement.

The sources also told NewsDay that between 30 and 50 policemen and women opted to retire early from the force.

Members of the police force can opt for early retirement after serving for at least 20 years or reaching 50 years.

The age of retirement for police officers is pegged at 55 years.

In an internal memo sent to all stations across the country, the promotions were of assistant commissioners to commissioners, chief superintendents to assistant commissioners andsuperintendents to chief superintendents.

“The Commissioner-General of Police is pleased to advise and congratulate the following senior officers who were successful in the recently held 2024 promotion exercise.

“Senior officers have been promoted to commissioner, assistant commissioner and chief superintendent with effect from 18 May 2024,” the internal memo read.

Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga promoted 17 assistant commissioners to the rank of commissioner.

They are police national spokesperson Paul Ngwarai Nyathi, Martin Matembo Nyirenda, Arnold Makomo, Taonei Nyazema, Jealous Nyabasa, Silungile Ndlovu, Frederick Mbengwa, Elizabeth Phiri, Edward Tshuma and Maxwell Chikunguru.

The others are Clancy Tapiwa Nyamukure, Jasper Takaengwa Chizemo, Charles Ndoro, Tambudzayi Joyleen Mazambani, Evelyn Taurai Philip, Susan Chemurema and Tapera Layman Sithole.

Matanga also promoted 28 chief superintendents to assistant commissioners, while 41 superintendents were promoted to the rank of chief superintendent.

The police boss is expected to officiate at the conferment of ranks to the promoted senior officers next Wednesday at the Mkushi Academy’s New Assembly Hall.

According to the memo, the staff officer at ordinance will start issuing the new badges for ranks today.

Matanga has been under fire from junior cops who accuse him of failing to address their grievances related to welfare issues.

According to reports from our sister paper, The Standard, Matanga has since gone across Zimbabwe, begging his juniors not to call it quits, promising to have their concerns addressed.

The junior officers expressed their discontent with Matanga, accusing him of being out of touch with reality on the ground.

The officers said they had inadequate uniforms, poor salaries and the working conditions are poor.

Matanga, however, said the government was seized with the welfare concerns of police officers.

In December last year, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube allocated ZWL$8,6 trillion to the security cluster in his 2024 budget.

The budget was intended to cover various critical areas including remuneration, food rations, operational equipment, and essential infrastructure for the country's security forces.

Last month, junior police officers in Harare were forced to abandon an inspection parade ahead of independence celebrations because of lack of uniforms.

In November last year, police sent home recruits after a failed pass-out parade due to a shortage of uniforms.

In 2021, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence and Home Affairs said police officers had become corrupt because their parent ministry was underfunded to meet their needs.

Last year, legislators called on the government to address the plight of law enforcement agents, adding that most infrastructure used by police had been dilapidated beyond refurbishment. In some cases, according to the MPs, some police stations still have ramshackle wooden offices and leaking roofs.

In March 2022, a cross-party parliamentary committee warned that Zimbabwe’s police service could collapse if no urgent action is taken to lift the morale of police officers through better pay, fixing key infrastructure and providing modern operational tools.

This was after the committee conducted an inquiry into the state of infrastructure and service delivery by the ZRP.

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