By Nyemudzai Kakore
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (RBZ) must not give traffic cops manning roadblocks targets as this fuels corruption and other forms of misconduct, Home Affairs and Culture Secretary Dr Melusi Matshiya, has said.
Responding to questions from the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services yesterday while presenting requirements on the 2019 National Budget, Dr Matshiya also indicated that the ZRP had dismissed some of its members for engaging in corruption.
“Corruption in ZRP was there and those who were caught red-handed by their bosses were fired. On the aspect of targets, I was not aware. The problem with targets is that you will push officers into doing something which ordinarily they would not want to do. This creates a problem,” he said.
“In terms of our image and how we now relate to the public and the mentioning of too many roadblocks we are rationalising to come up with an appropriate number. The critical issue is when the police mount a roadblock.
“It is to look at the dangers within the society which are speeding, unroadworthy vehicles and many other societal ills such as theft.
Dr Matshiya said measures were being put in place to restore the public’s confidence in the police.
These include removal of mandatory spot-fines and giving the public at least seven days to pay their traffic fines.
“The public could now swipe, EcoCash, or pay the fines when they are paying their licence fees or even take their case to the court if they felt duped by the traffic police officers,” he said.
Dr Matshiya said the ZRP was struggling in its operations because of the minimal budget allocation it was receiving from Treasury.
He said the security of the country should be prioritised in terms of funding.
ZRP Deputy Commissioner-General Levy Sibanda said the police were failing to provide decent accommodation to its members and some of them were living in pathetic conditions.
The ZRP is also facing challenges of vehicles and this has seen police failing to attend to accidents and crime scenes on time.
“Provision of security and prevention of crime is not a menial business. It is quite expensive and it needs a lot of support in terms of the fiscus. We are provided with 30 to 40 percent budget allocations from what we request,” he said.
“The ZRP as an organisation is seriously underfunded and that compromises its operations in terms of accommodation and the communication sector. Without these issues being looked into more objectively, it means we might stay with this problem and our performance will be next to zero.”