‘It’s parents’ fault’
Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri says it is worrying that people criticise the force for employing corrupt officers without realising such officers are not “foreign sourced”, but Zimbabweans.Comm-Gen Chihuri said this while addressing legislators from the Parliamentary Portfolio Committees on Peace and Security, Home Affairs and Security Services who were on a familiarisation tour of several police projects in Harare on Monday.
“Sometimes it is quite worrying that you criticise the police, me and my officers for what the police do without realising that every policeman is not foreign-sourced,” he said.
“They are your children and without understanding or deciding to overlook the fact that they are over 20 years and you have been with them yourselves for most of the time. I got them for six months, you want me to change them in six months and they behave well when you have never done your part to make sure that they become responsible citizens,” said Comm-Gen Chihuri.
“So when you raise concerns and so on, you must understand this also. You as the parents, how much did you do to mould the person? I can train yes, outwardly, but inwardly, I can’t train. It’s very difficult. It takes a long-time anyway. This is why we have our chaplains; they are doing a good job and I am sure it will help,” he said.
“I am just trying to point out a fact which you also need to appreciate. I am not saying you shouldn’t criticise us because no-one is above criticism, not even myself. We will accept any and all, but it must be constructive, it must be within some reasoning of some sort, not just abusing others.”
Comm-Gen Chihuri said they appreciated what Government was doing to assist them financially.
He said policing needed a lot of money for its operations, but they were getting far less.
“Let’s not talk of estimates because each year we are asked to draw up budget estimates. (It’s a) useless exercise because no one looks at it anyway. You do the estimates, they give what they want on paper and the little that is on paper never comes. For your own information, if I may say, some of you will be surprised that for operations this financial year, we have less than $3 million from the fiscus,” he said.
“Now, I wonder how you would expect an organisation such as ZRP to work on $3 million. That is fuel for ZRP for two weeks and the amount is finished. So before you do much criticism you must also know that policing takes a lot of money, which is not there.
“How do we survive? God knows.
“This is why we have too many chaplains and we always look up to the Almighty for miracles to happen and they are happening, we will continue that way,” Comm-Gen Chihuri said.
He said they were also failing to cope with rapid technological advancement and this had affected some of their training programmes.
“So our systems are old, they need to be revamped and again this calls for money,” he said. Comm-Gen Chihuri expressed concern over illegal exit and entry points along the country’s borders.
“The movement of people is becoming quite backward in a way. Where we should be having immigration and customs officials they end up being policemen who are trying to do almost everything and things they were not mandated and even trained to do,” he said.