‘Report cops with ill-gotten wealth’
Freeman Razemba and Victor Maphosa
POLICE are appealing to people with information on officers living larger than their professional earnings, to come forward and assist in ongoing lifestyle audits meant to flush out and prosecute corrupt officers.
The audits were launched in 2017, following allegations that most police officers were driving around in expensive vehicles, while some owned a fleet of commuter omnibuses and pirate taxis, a lifestyle which maybe questionable considering their earnings.
A lifestyle audit involves verification of an individual’s personal expenditure patterns to determine if they are consistent with their sources of income that include salary.
Those who fail the audit will be charged in terms of the law, with a possibility of being dismissed from the police service.
In an interview, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the audits were ongoing and extended a call to those with information on officers with wealth that is not commensurate with their earnings, to assist the audit teams.
“So far, a number of officers have been asked to account for their wealth. We are inviting those with evidence of corruption or information on our officers with ill-gotten wealth to come forward and assist us.
“We would also want to urge the media and members of the public to report any officer involved in any criminal or corrupt activities and those with ill-gotten wealth. There is no room for corruption in the ZRP,” Asst Comm Nyathi said.
He said from those audited so far, some managed to justify their wealth.
“From those summoned so far, we picked that some bought houses and cars from the money they got after being sent on United Nations (UN) peace-keeping missions.
“Some were fortunate enough to benefit from the land reform programme where they were allocated farms. A number of our officers are doing well on their farms,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
However, Asst Comm Nyathi said, some officers who have been engaging in corrupt activities were arrested and have been appearing before the courts.
Asst Comm Nyathi said the police service will not have mercy on those proved to be corrupt.
“I would like to assure everyone that the exercise is very serious and the corrupt will be arrested and prosecuted.
“There is a policy which is being judiciously followed by the organisation and members are aware that any form of dishonesty or criminality, the law will be applied without fear or favour.
“They will be discharged from service,” he said.
Police notified the public of their intention to launch the audits in October 2017, but the issue went quiet until last week when The Herald made a follow up.