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Corrupt police officers put on notice

Police need to redouble efforts to eliminate corruption within the force, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe said yesterday, amid reports that some bus operators plying the Harare-Beitbridge Highway were losing thousands of dollars per month, while motorists were also forking out bribes.

While motorists are crying foul over payment of bribes, they should follow the law to avoid such losses, he noted, but regardless of what motorists offer, there should be no corruption in the force. Minister Kazembe told senior officers yesterday in Harare during the ZRP senior officers conference: “We are worried about corruption amongst our officers. It’s an issue we need to deal with. It’s an issue we need to curb. It’s an issue we need to arrest.

“I was recently told by a transport operator that they were losing about R50 000 per month along the Harare-Beitbridge Highway to police officers. The operator said they were now budgeting R50 000 every month to bribe police officers.

“I urge you (senior officers) to look into this issue. Our citizens are complaining day in and day out. We need to curb corruption.”

Minister Kazembe said Government remained gravely concerned by the continued surge in crimes of violent nature.

“I, therefore, call upon you to redouble your efforts and summon all your operational ingenuity to come up with policing initiatives,” he said.

“The fear of crime especially of violent crimes, keeps citizens apprehensive and stifles business growth. It is also a fact that modern policing increasingly operates under public scrutiny and this calls for enhanced accountability.”

Minister Kazembe said Government, despite limited resources, had this year alone handed over two batches of vehicles to bolster the police fleet. He said President Mnangagwa has also donated five high-powered vehicles and two buses.

Minister Kazembe said on murder cases, he was happy that through crime prevention patrols and awareness campaigns, police were able to reduce such cases. But the rise in cases of armed robberies and theft of cars was also a cause of concern as criminals were targeting people with large amounts of money.

“Equally worrisome is the prevalence of rape cases particularly the sexual assault of juveniles,” said Minister Kazembe.

“The period between January to June 2021 registered a 16 percent increase in rape of juveniles when compared to the similar period last year. Such repulsive statistics should spring any police commander to action.

“Children are the future of any nation and thus cannot continue to be violated under your watch. Our country has always been renowned for not only being a peaceful, but also a humane and civil republic.”

Minister Kazembe said road traffic accidents increased by 21 percent from 13 593 during the first half of 2020 to 16 418 the same period this year. He challenged the police to protect the gains made under Government’s Pfumvudza/Intwasa and Smart Agriculture Programme through heightened patrols and vigilance.

On national lockdown, Minister Kazembe said he was concerned over isolated cases of missing, stolen, and fake vaccination cards being recorded countrywide. The event was attended by Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Deputy Minister Ruth Mavhunga Maboyi, the ministry’s permanent secretary Mr Aaron Nhepera and Commissioner General Godwin Matanga and the senior police officers.

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