SOME 352 junior officers drafted into a police crack unit specifically to deal with protests earlier this year, have all been transferred to the ZRP’s para-military Support Unit, NewZimbabwe has learnt.
According to a police internal communication, all officers who have been undergoing training on how to deal with protests since the lockdown began have been posted to various Support Unit stations across the country.
Over 600 are said to have undergone the special anti-riot training at Shamva Battle Camp and Ntabazinduna Police Depot.
The all-male unit was created during the time the opposition and associated civic groups had intensified calls to roll out protests against the Zanu PF led government.
The officers underwent initial training at Buchwa before being called up again from their various bases to continue right through the lockdown period.
“The transfers have been approved and should be implemented accordingly,” reads the statement.
“Officers commanding provinces who are receiving transferred members are encouraged to facilitate their smooth transportation if necessary.
“Members transferring out of province should commence preparations for departure and are expected to report to their new stations not later than 06 November 2020.
“Thereafter officers in charge should submit casualty returns.”
The special anti-riot training in question has for over the last months been dismissed by Information Ministry permanent secretary Nick Mangwana as mere fabrications by government enemies.
Some of those who had been given leave to visit their homes were called up ahead of the 31 July protests, according to a source at the police headquarters.
Government last year poured some US$4.5 million towards capacitating the police to deal with citizen rioting.
Besides training, the amount also procured new helmets, anti-riot uniforms, teargas, shields and baton sticks from South Africa.