Freeman Razemba and Samantha Chipoyera
The Zimbabwe Republic Police has established a 24-hour patrol unit to monitor Harare and Chitungwiza in a bid to arrest any acts of criminality.
There is a surge in criminals activities in Harare and surrounding towns like Chitungwiza. The Acting Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga said the patrol unit will draw resources from redundant stations. He was speaking during the Harare Province belated End of Year Party on Friday last week.
“In my remarks to senior police officers following the end of Operation Restore Legacy, I emphasised the need to heighten police activity and visibility in all our operational areas. My desire is to see police services brought closer to the people.
“We need to rid society of the fear of crime by enhancing our presence in every corner of Zimbabwe. Much more is expected of you here in Harare. Remember, Harare is the capital of our country and, therefore, the epicentre of national development,” said Acting Comm-Gen Matanga.
“Of late, I have received reports from the Operations Department and Inspectorate Unit indicating that you are putting effort toward visible policing. I wish to take this opportunity to applaud you for that. But, the road ahead is still long.
“There remains a lot of work to be done. In the past few weeks, I have had occasion to silently patrol selected streets of Harare and to visit crime-prone areas by night. My findings were that we still have too many areas that remain without visible police patrols.” He said police must be on patrol 24/7.
“On two different occasions, I drove along Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Road that leads to the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport at night. On that stretch of the road, I was disturbed by the absence of police on patrol. Consequently, motorists along that road tend to drive at high speeds, presumably out of fear for their safety.
“Our officers need to patrol the streets round the clock, 24 hours a day, and every day of the week. We should gradually increase patrols as our areas become more isolated, especially by night. Resultantly, in order to bring these plans to fruition, I have directed that there be established a patrol unit beginning with Harare and Chitungwiza.
“The unit will draw resources from some redundant stations and sections and dedicated only for patrols.” Acting Comm-Gen Matanga said he was in the process of identifying similar redundant sections and stations in other police provinces. He said the thrust must always be on fulfilling the expectations of the community, national expectations and the demands of the rule of law.
“Indeed, we ought to police with the knowledge that we are the salt of the earth in so far as morals are concerned. Let us shun corruption or any activity that casts doubt on the image of the ZRP,” he said.