UPDATED: We lost public trust due to waywardness: ZRP
Freeman Razemba Crime Reporter—
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) yesterday admitted to inadequate supervision and unbecoming behaviour by some members as having eroded public trust, faith and confidence in the force. Addressing senior officers in Harare yesterday, Acting Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga said they would not hesitate to resuscitate the National Development Committee and to empower the Inspectorate Unit to enhance supervision of police activities at all levels.
“There is a well-known Shona saying that, ‘kugona chivi kuzvituka’, may I, therefore, urge all of us to self-introspect, accept that our challenges emanate from lack of or inadequate supervision and unbecoming actions by some of our members, which have no doubt eroded public trust, faith and confidence in the police service,” he said.
“The young police officers need our constant and regular guidance so that they do not stray and malign the good name and image of the police service.” Acting Comm-Gen Matanga said refresher, developmental and induction courses would be conducted with renewed vigour so that all officers had in-depth knowledge of police work.
Customer satisfaction, professionalism, respect, courteousness and restraint, Acting Comm-Gen Matanga said, would be the epitome of all police activities. “As we thank the President Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa for bestowing his trust on us to continue serving as members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, I urge you not to abuse this trust,” said Acting Comm-Gen Matanga. “Never should we act contrary to the oaths we took to serve the people of Zimbabwe with unbending fortitude, professionalism and loyalty.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police shall never again work in manners that will make it lose confidence and trust of the people it serves. When the people speak, we ought to listen attentively. Need I remind you of the well publicised message from His Excellency, President E.D Mnangagwa that the voice of the people is the voice of God?” Acting Comm-Gen Matanga said they were going to roll out a battery of measures to improve their way of doing business in order to connect with the people.
He assured the nation that the ZRP would be heavily deployed, patrolling all communities both urban and rural. Acting Comm-Gen Matanga said they would also be conducting traffic awareness campaigns in an effort to curb road carnage and encouraging members of the public to drive safely on the roads.
He said President Mnangagwa assured the nation that the forthcoming elections would be conducted in a peaceful and democratic environment, so it was the role of the police to facilitate the provisioning of such envisaged environment. “Let us wholeheartedly rally behind the new Government’s efforts of rebuilding a peaceful and prosperous Zimbabwe,” said Acting Comm-Gen Matanga.
“May I implore all of you to follow proper communication channels and keep yourselves abreast of pronouncements by Government, its policies and trajectory. I am hopeful that you derive benefit from the President’s inaugural speech and the maiden speech by our minister (Cde Obert Mpofu) we sent all of you (senior officers) recently.”
Acting Comm-Gen Matanga applauded the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for closely partnering the ZRP throughout Operation Restore Legacy. He said the concerns of members of the public were now common knowledge and most of concerns arose from traffic law enforcement. “Complaints are double-pronged,” he said. “Firstly, they serve as a feedback from the users of our service and secondly they are an indicator of matters that need to be addressed in our planning and implementation strategies.
“That, the Zimbabwe Republic Police, like most modern police organisations, derive their legitimacy from the people is beyond doubt. As an organisation, we long accepted this viewpoint and committed ourselves to continuous learning under public scrutiny.”
He added: “Indeed, our Code of Conduct, the Police Client Service Charter and all our policies emphasise the need for professionalism in the discharge of our policing mandate at all times.” Acting Comm-Gen Matanga said the force had been tarnished through continued acts of corruption by unscrupulous elements in their midst.
“In this regard, the Zimbabwe Republic Police shall enhance swift justice to perpetrators of corruption and other criminal acts through undertaking thorough investigations.” The meeting was attended by Deputy Commissioner-Generals Innocent Matibiri (human resources), Levie Sibanda (operations) and Josephine Shambare (crime), commissioners, senior assistant commissioners and assistant commissioners.