POLICE will continue discharging from duty cops who engage in corruption and other nefarious activities that tarnish the image of the force, Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri said recently. Addressing a workshop for legal officers in the Zimbabwe Republic Police recently, the top cop spoke of the need for discipline. “As your commanders, we are perturbed by the disdain and blatant disregard for ZRP disciplinary processes by some errant members. As a matter of fact, the ZRP will continue to employ all the legal instruments at its disposal to enforce discipline,” he said. “The ZRP shall continue to discharge from its midst all police officers who engage in corrupt activities. Running to the courts will merely serve to delay what is obvious.
Comm-Gen Chihuri said it was time for action.
“We cannot afford to be indifferent or to bury our heads in the sand and wish the problems of corruption and indiscipline away. We need to act decisively and acting decisively indeed we shall do. No amount of litigation by those who are caught on the wrong side of the law will coerce or acquiesce us to their whims or machinations.”
He said it was shameful to note that the courts were being used as shields against pending internal disciplinary hearings.
Comm-Gen Chihuri said courts were increasingly being inundated with urgent chamber applications brought by cops desperate to prevent disciplinary hearings.
“These police officers need to read the Police Act correctly. There is no way the courts can superintend over the administration of indiscipline in the police force,” Comm-Gen Chihuri said.
He said he was also aware of the issues raised by some members of the force who had acquired degrees from various universities within and outside Zimbabwe. He said this was a positive development as it helps members to improve their competencies.
“However, the attainment of higher professional credentials should not be taken as an automatic pedestal to higher ranks. You will surely agree with me that most forward-looking officers and members of the ZRP have since upgraded themselves academically in one field or the other.
“Most of their degrees are also relevant to police work. If the organisation was to promote all degreed members to the rank of Chief Superintendent as requested by some of you (legal officers), then the ZRP would have more chiefs than Indians,” Comm-Gen Chihuri said.
The workshop was aimed at equipping legal officers with cutting edge skills in the provision of legal services.