Several senior police officers have been forced out of their jobs after reaching the compulsory age of retirement, the Daily News can report.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is retiring all senior officials who are above the age of 50 as the service continues its restructuring exercise in line with reinventing its operations.
The Daily News understands that over 20 senior police officers from the rank of superintendent and above were this week served with retirement letters.
The letters, signed by commissioner-general Godwin Matanga, were headlined “Retirement from the Zimbabwe Republic Police in Terms of Section 22(3) of the Police Act Chapter 11:10”.
According to the Police Act Chapter 11:10, the retirement age is 50 and once a police officer reaches that age, they have to renew their contract at the discretion of the bosses.
“This letter serves to advise you of your retirement from the ZRP in terms of section 22 subsection (3) of the Police Act Chapter 11:10,” reads one of the letters.
“…The Commissioner General of police avails himself this opportunity to sincerely thank you for having diligently served the organisation and the people of Zimbabwe.”
Police spokesperson Charity Charamba could not be drawn to comment on the matter saying she was away from work and directed questions to deputy spokesperson Paul Nyathi.
Reached for comment after questions had been sent to his mobile phone, Nyathi apologised for not being able to answer his phone.
“I am headed into another meeting may you call me after one hour 30 minutes,” he said after the Daily News had put the question to him. Subsequent efforts to reach him were futile.
The exercise follows the retirement of 10 members of the police service namely commissioners Grace Nomsa Ndebele and Mekia Tanyanyiwa; senior assistant commissioners Godfrey Munyonga, Justice Chifunye Chengeta, Robert Tendero Masukusa, Erasmus Makodza, Prudence Chakanyuka, Eve Mlilo, Grace Maenzanise and Munyori Taedzerwa.
The police have also been undertaking widespread promotions as part of improving the effectiveness in law enforcement.
The promotion procedures are conducted as a regular exercise in the service and are motivating tool aimed at rewarding officers who are hardworking, the police has said.
On July 26 this year, the ZRP promoted close to 500 senior police officers to various ranks.
The change came after close to 2000 junior police officers received their biggest relief yet after they were promoted to various ranks.
Matanga announced the major movements in a radio transcript.
The radio further announced that eight assistant commissioners had been promoted to Senior Assistant Commissioner.
In the communication, Matanga also announced that 15 chief superintends who include Tedeus Madondo, Silungile Ndlovu, Paul Nyathi, Nelson Charumbira, Steven Kazingizi and Givemore Munjeri had been promoted to assistant commissioner.
Thirty three Superintendents were also promoted to Chief Superintendent, while 71 were regraded to the rank of Superintendent, 182 inspectors and deputy inspectors were promoted to Chief Inspector and a further 350 promoted to Inspector.
The changes came as morale in the police service was at an all-time low, as officers felt increasingly undervalued, underpaid and overstretched.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who swept to power on the back of the military intervention, made a number of changes in the ZRP, with long-serving commissioner-general, Augustine Chihuri, being retired and replaced with Matanga.
And just recently, several senior officers in the Police Protection Unit who were providing security to Mugabe were redeployed.
The Zanu PF-led government is desperate to boost morale among a police service that is now focused on reinventing its operations.