Auxilia Katongomara Bulawayo Bureau
THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has embraced the new dispensation with an array of changes in its operations, among them reducing roadblocks to just one per 100-kilometre radius and scrapping spot fines.
Following the end of Operation Restore Legacy by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF), the police force is now working on restoring public confidence through a raft of changes. In a memo copied to all stations from the Commissioner Operations dated December 19, 2017, the police are seeking to restore public trust and confidence.
The memo outlines a number of changes in the Traffic Section, which allegedly made the police fall out of favour with the public. It states that all other police stations are to stop traffic enforcement operations and concentrate on increasing police visibility in both urban and rural areas.
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“Traffic enforcement and road safety duties are to be done by Traffic Branch, whose main focus shall be promotion and facilitation of road safety and security through traffic awareness campaigns and other road safety programmes,” the memo reads.
“Traffic police shall ensure a co-ordinated weekly roadblock schedule and roadblock spacing has been revised to not more than one roadblock within 100 kilometres,”said the memo.
Traffic fines, according to the memo, would be collected on the road but where necessary and for serious offences, police are to take the violator to a police station for acceptance or deposit fine in the form of Z69J or compilation of a docket.
“No spot fines are to be imposed on the motoring public, considerations are being made for us to revert to the ticketing system using Forms 265. Our new culture is to serve with a smile and to prioritise premier customer care. There shall be zero tolerance to corruption across the organisation and where it is observed the perpetrator is to appear in the criminal court within 48 hours and in the disciplinary court within 72 hours.
“Commanders at all levels are to enhance supervision and conduct on the job training and monitoring of all operations. A culture of total commitment to duty, team building and maximum supervision must be adopted,” it said.
“Any failure by commanders in this aspect will attract disciplinary action. All commanders must work towards image building through professionalism and a genuine concern to satisfy public expectations. Never shall any room be left for laziness, rudeness, arrogance and half-hearted approach to duty. May all commanders ensure that these directions cascade down to all members under their command,” said the memo.
“In view of the end of Operation Restore Legacy on 18 December 2017, the ZRP has assumed its full constitutional mandate to maintain law and order alone without the military. It is our duty to create an enabling environment conducive to the conduct of free, fair and credible elections by all parties,” read the memo.
“The peaceful environment should boost investor confidence and encourage foreign direct investment for our economy to grow. We should stop all forms of corruption and where it occurs, swift justice must be done.”
Commanders were ordered to take full note of the negative public perceptions and attitude towards the police and endeavour to implement strategies to reverse this.
“This is achievable through a review of how we have conducted business and fully commit ourselves to addressing issues of concern and expectations of the public,” read the memo.
“This means more visible foot, cycle, horse and motorised patrols in both urban and rural areas. We must also endeavour to revamp police public relations through addressing public safety and security concerns so as to reduce fear of crime in view of the coming 2018 elections.”
National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba declined to comment on the latest developments.