Policemen severely brutalised

President Mugabe led State of the Republic of Zimbabwe has ideologically severely brutalised the role of the police force mobilising the force for political combat against the people it is supposed to protect. The Zimbabwe Republic Police force has become a ZANU PF political apparatus to attack the people’s constitutional rights to express their grievances and demands for government to account for economic and political depression, and diminishing public services. The police have confused its constitutional role and authority to maintain public order, investigate crime, prevent crimes and enforce the laws with politics actively serving the political interests of ZANU PF adversely tinted with corruption. The partisan positon of the police force has opened doors for its politicisation and political interference with consequences that have eroded its public image and legitimacy to protect and keep the public safe. The police have created a very bad image and public relations significantly poisoned by political meddling and fabrications of the functions of the police by enlisting the services of ZANU PF political marketing and tactics that misinterpret and defend criminal activities committed by the police against private citizens. The dynamics and relationship between ZANU PF aligned police force and the ordinary citizens are that of suspicion and mistrust. The independent role of the police force in Zimbabwe is highly questionable more so when the dogma of the police is affixed on political prerogatives where the police minister, police commissioners and police inspectors are appointed on ZANU PF doctrines and ethos of corruption, brutality and vice. The criticism of excessive use of force and abuses of police roles are related to political snooping and exploitation of the police by ZANU PF government political machinery. ZANU PF political mongers and sympathisers are scoring adverse political points against ordinary people expressing their genuine needs for government to improve their wellbeing and a political change that is transparent, fair and democratic. A police officer serving under ZANU PF controlled government that does not harass, kidnap people viewed as ZANU PF enemies, solicit bribes, set up as many road blocks as possible, kill or beat up suspects and peaceful demonstrators is most likely to lose his job, get transferred or demoted to a lower rank. The police performance matrix is constructed around the president to maintain and sustain the political hold of ZANU PF through enforcement of vice laws against public safety, the safety of political opponents and civil society. Police training is based on ZANU PF slogans and Mugabe not in the service of the country and the people. The awkward model of relationship between the police and citizens is that people are answerable to the police not the other way round. In recent weeks and months the number of peaceful protesters beaten up, maimed and some killed by the police is a very frighten development. Notorious policeman Crispen Makedenge is reported to be possessed with the appetite to shoot and kill peaceful demonstrators. He is reported to be now under police protection not charged but the police officer that exposed the notoriety of Crispen Makedenge is set to be fired from his job. The people’s personal freedom of peaceful expression is greatly endangered and their human rights completely battered. A very small and insignificant percentage of police officers involved in public misconduct get charged with criminal offences. Many of them keep their jobs or even get promoted. Government has often failed to act decisively to restrain or penalize acts of brutality committed by the police but constantly appear to defend the actions of the police against members of the public. The systematic overhaul of the police force cannot be a mandate that can be entrusted to ZANU PF. Conflict resolution by the police with the public is endowed with a culture of brutality which is against the grain of the global standards of professional public policing. The partisan behaviour and operations of the police is an indictment that the police charter of the government of Zimbabwe is modelled along party lines. The danger to public order is infinitely grave in a culture where the police force has become a conduit and perpetrator for public provocation and disturbances in favour of a political establishment. The shocking evidence of excessive force and police brutality is a wakeup call for Zimbabweans to redefine the professional competencies and neutrality of the police force to introduce new dimensions to traditional core and functional competencies expected of the police including the psychology of dealing with dynamics of human nature. The country has run short of a professional police force that is highly intelligent and emotionally mature to maintain public safety. Zimbabwe police force is poorly trained, poorly resourced, poorly paid, their monthly salaries are paid late and they also work under poor conditions of service. This is a common feature in Zimbabwe that has nothing to care about public servants but attempts to brainwash public servants to become activity and willing accomplices to corruption and deceit. The police are required by the government of ZANU PF for its own sake and as a means to an end to achieve the goals of a corrupt system which in turn cultivates a culture of corruption within the police force itself. When the police become the perpetrator of violence it reduces its credibility, respect and legitimacy. Zimbabwe police are known to extort bribes from civilians in order to supplement their incomes to make ends meet and to satisfy their corrupted material egos. Police also bribe civilians into paying them to avoid arrest and also make victims pay for criminal investigations. Police rarely file reports or investigate crimes; use violence and retaliation against people who complain about police abuses and often imprisoning innocent citizens to cover up their dirty work. Police officers in higher authority run their own business within the police force using the police as a point of sales and marketing promoting market products where they have personal vested business interests. The motor car fire extinguish is an example to highlight where the police will accept a fire extinguisher with a specific trade mark on it only. The spot fines at road blocks; demands for radio licence on cars; supply of vegetable produce belonging to bosses to police canteens; bosses running personal projects within the police force requiring junior police officers to make financial contribution where they have no stake in; use of police trucks to transports private goods and vegetable produce shows how police and policing ethics have been brutalised by a partisan system of ZANU PF. The police have resisted preventing or responding to gang-related violence and heinous crimes with connections to ZANU PF officials and their supporters and using contemptuous police officers like Crispen Makedenge and others to investigate ZANU PF officials involved in underhand dealings. Many high profile cases have remained unresolved. The magnitude and scale of those crimes are so many to catalogue all in this script. We are reminded of the disappearance of activists Itai Dzamara and Patrick Nabanyama; the death of Rashiwe Gusha; the mysterious death of commander of the guerrilla army Josiah Tongogara, retired army general of the Zimbabwe defence forces General Solomon Mujruru, Ministers Boarder Gazi and Eliot Manyika and the death of former ZIPRA Lieutenant General Lookout Masuku. The killings and other atrocious offences perpetrated on unsuspecting civilians during the Gukurahundi, Murambatstwina and during the disputed 2008 general elections code named Tasangana. The disappearance of several dozens of activists from various opposition parties has never attracted the attention of the police to investigate. The police are ignoring or are instructed not to investigate the disappearance of the 15 billion dollars that went missing in mining deals, bribes paid to officials for big contracts, the externalisation of money to offshore accounts and why civil servants are not being paid on time. Obert Mpofu has never been charged or questioned by the police for severely torturing Lifas Sibanda for attending a ZAPU rally in July 2014 in Victoria Falls leaving him permanently disabled. There are many known such cases of violations of the law and human rights committed by ZANU PF officials that have not been investigated by the police including rape and domestic violence. The disturbances at Beit bridge boarder on food import bans left the major offender, the minister responsible unscathed with police choosing the soft targets, the public responding to a criminal decision. The president with so many degrees including those of violence as he has reported in the past does not see anything wrong with those responsible ministers and individuals or seek to dismiss them or volunteer to retire himself for leadership failures. It may be important for people to begin to think about the reasons why? The safety of members of the public under ZANU PF administration is gravely compromised. The political, social and economic demands for a change and the heightened awareness of human rights, the public is pressing demands for the government and the functions of the police to take a deeper look of into systematic abuses of power, the causes of such abuses and ways people can keep themselves and others safe. The people of Zimbabwe are expecting the police to be efficient and competent in their traditional roles of peace keeping and crime fighting, and to provide professional and quality service to the public in day-to-day encounters. In short, people are looking for a set of skills by the police that address the human aspects of modern policing.

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