Junior police officers are reportedly sulking with government’s recent decision to drastically reduce the number of roadblocks across the country, are resisting new duties such as foot patrols.
The bitter cops are choosing instead to spend time at stations chatting on WhatsApp platforms according to a senior police officer.
A decision was made last December to reduce the number of police roadblocks across the country following a national outcry that they were unnecessary and had become a menace as police officers manning them were extorting motorist.
According the officer commanding Marondera district, Superintendent Khama, the decision has proved to be unpopular with junior police officers who are resisting orders to patrol the streets and are instead spending time in their offices chatting on social media platforms.
Khama was addressing police officers in Marondera town this week at the launch of the “Police Visibility Patrols”, a programme that seeks to encourage junior police officers to embrace foot patrols.
“You cannot do selective duties. One cannot choose which work to do or not to do. We should not even shy from our work,” he said.
“Leaving an area of patrol without permission, loitering or sleeping in one’s car whilst on duty will not be able to reduce crime. Police officers are remaining in the comfort of their offices, busying themselves on WhatsApp platforms.”
The senior cop said having police officers on the streets and known crime prone areas would reduce the crime rate in the country.
“Remaining stuck in our offices will not help an elderly woman being harassed by touts some 500 metres from the police station,” he said.
“Those who made the mistake of taking the police oath should submit their resignation papers. That would help the nation. The ZRP should not be home for desperate jobseekers. Only those committed to duty should remain as police officers.
“The days of undisciplined officers are numbered while the days of the disciplined officers are surely guaranteed. We have sufficient artillery to deal with them.”
‘Be proud of foot patrols’
The ZRP chief urged the police officers to be proud of their foot patrols, have good cheer and be gracious to members of the public. He also asked his juniors to exercise restraint and not to assault offenders and show respect at all times.