ZIMBABWEANS have challenged the Zimbabwe Republic Police to be disciplined and reform as they resume their duties following the completion of Operation Restore Legacy by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
Operation Restore Legacy saw a decrease in police visibility and a reduction of the numerous roadblocks.
Announcing the end of the operation, newly promoted ZDF Commander General Phillip Valerio Sibanda said police would effectively resume their duties as the military would be returning to the barracks.
The courteous manner with which the military conducted their duties during Operation Restore Legacy earned them public trust and the admiration of Zimbabweans who have challenged the police to maintain a friendly relationship with the public.
A Bulawayo motorist, Mr Bongani Ncube, said the police must work tirelessly to regain the public’s trust.
“Police must work well with the public, they should desist from harassing us motorists and mounting roadblocks everywhere and at traffic lights.
Right now we have lost respect for the police due to their past deeds,” said Mr Ncube.
Mr Ashton Masaira said police must be reshuffled particularly those in the traffic section as they have given the force a bad name.
“We are thankful to the army because there has been sanity on the roads for the past month but we are appealing to the police boss to reshuffle all traffic officers because bad habits die hard. That is the only way we can see change from police,” said Mr Masaira.
Mrs Nomusa Dube, a vendor in the city, said they are expecting a ‘changed’ police force.
“We are expecting a reformed police force. They must change the way they were operating previously. It’s the festive season and usually crime is prevalent.
It is time for them to be out in full force and work towards creating a safe environment,” said Mrs Dube.
On social media, Zimbabweans expressed optimism that they were going to experience a fresh start with a reformed police force.
Meanwhile, MDC-T spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu hailed the end of Operation Restore Legacy saying police should take a cue from the ZDF’s professional conduct.
“We appreciate the fact that our Defence Forces are disciplined and we trust that the other law enforcement agencies such as the Zimbabwe Republic Police will continue to effectively and competently discharge their constitutional mandate of maintaining law and order in our beloved motherland.
More particularly, we call upon the police force to be professional at all times and not to resort to intimidation, bribe–taking and all other forms of malfeasance,” he said.
Mr Gutu appealed to the ZDF to always guard the country’s national interests.
“Zimbabweans are a peace–loving people who shouldn’t be unnecessarily subjected to unjustified harassment by members of the law enforcement agencies.
In similar measure, the MDC is convinced that the Defence Forces shall continue to defend Zimbabwe’s national security and national interests,” he said.
Gen Sibanda urged members of the public to respect, support and cooperate with the police as they execute their constitutional mandate.
“On the other hand, the ZRP officers are expected to fully take over their responsibilities and perform according to their constitutional mandate and Client Service Charter.
“It’s our belief that with clearer and better co-ordinated plans for the resuscitation of our economy, coupled with the existence of peace and political stability, our combined efforts to turn around our economy will pay dividends in the very near future,” he said.
Gen Sibanda said as Operation Restore Legacy comes to an end, it was his hope that the people of Zimbabwe would remain united, shun corruption, be law abiding and focus on working hard for the development of the country. The Chronicle