A Harare police woman has been arrested for allegedly leaking classified information meant for her superiors to the public, through WhatsApp.
Lorine Mugoronji now faces criminal charges, yet to be disclosed, as well as disciplinary action under the Police Act.
In a statement, National Police Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said officers must always concentrate on their mandate of crime prevention and investigation.
“Constable Lorine Joyce Mugoronji of Harare has been arrested for using the WhatsApp platform to leak police information which was meant for commanders and is now facing both criminal and disciplinary charges.
“ZRP reiterates that the responsibility of police officers on any duty is to concentrate on crime prevention, detection and investigation,” he said.
Asst Comm Nyathi said police officers must not spend time on their cellphones while on duty.
“In this regard, police officers on any deployment point, shall focus on allocated tasks and serve the public according to set standards. Police officers will thus not be allowed to focus on their cellphones at the expense of duty or abuse WhatsApp platforms, Twitter, Facebook or any other social media sites,” he said.
ZRP is on record urging members of the public to desist from abusing social media platforms through recording and posting footage and images of accidents and scenes of murder, among other issues.
Some social media users are in the habit of posting images and videos of the deceased whenever an accident occurs.
In a statement recently, deputy national police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Staff Officer Blessmore Chishaka, appealed to the public to refrain from such behaviour.
“The ZRP is concerned with some members of the public who record video footage or photograph scenes of road traffic accidents, scenes of murder or other heinous crimes and later post the footage on social media platforms,” he said.
“Images of dead bodies, wreckages and other sensitive scenes are then peddled on social media without regard to the negative effect. Some of the recordings are alarming and may cause despondency, while others are not suitable for people of a nervous disposition.”
“We are making a passionate plea to the public to refrain from recording scenes of fatal road traffic accidents, dead bodies, suicide, drowning and gory scenes,” he said. “Let us be considerate. Imagine receiving news about the passing on of a dear beloved one on social media.”
Chief Supt Chishaka said it was everyone’s duty to protect those who would have been victims in accidents.
Some people have fallen victim to social media abuse, learning of the passing away of relatives, colleagues and loved ones through videos and images on platforms like Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp.