By Staff Reporter
POLICE Superintendents and Chief Superintendents from across the country were, days before the foiled 31 July national protests, pampered with top of the range cars.
The cars include latest Toyota Hiluxes and Ford Rangers.
Three brand new UD trucks were also distributed to each of the country’s 10 provinces ahead of the protests to move anti-riot officers.
Sources within the police told NewZimbabwe.com problematic provinces such as Bulawayo, Masvingo and Midlands even got reserve Assistant Commissioners from Harare’s Police General Headquarters to head departments set up specifically for the protests.
“All Dispols got very expensive 4x4s last week ahead of the planned demonstrations for reasons best known to them.
“Our stations are incapacitated and do not have vehicles to transport accused persons, sometimes we have to rely on complainants to ferry us to crime scenes and we were hoping they would notice that and give us even cheaper ones,” said a police source.
The source at PGHQ who requested anonymity said the vehicles included the Toyota Hilux Legend 45 costing in the region of R472 000 and R712 100 in South Africa, Toyota D4Ds that cost around R534 300 and Isuzu KB double cabs.
The vehicles are for District commanders, known as Dispols in police jargon.
Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi expressed ignorance on both the vehicles procurement and deployment of Assistant Commissioner matters.
“I am not aware,” said Nyathi.
Since Transform Zimbabwe (TZ) president, Jacob Ngarivhume announced the July 31 protest, government has been pampering state security agents with unexplained allowances deposited into their bank accounts.
In July, junior soldiers were awarded $12 000 (US$120) by government, police officers were given $8 000 (US$80).
Two weeks ago, some reported a further $5 000 mysteriously flowing into their accounts.
Ordinarily, they get about $3 000 (US$30) and an allowance of US$75 that they withdraw at an interbank rate.
Police and the army have maintained heavy presence across the country since Thursday last week.
Indications by opposition MDC deputy national chairperson Job Sikhala that the protests are not yet through despite Friday’s silence could mean police and army would be there for longer.
Friday’s demonstration turned into an effective shutdown with most businesses closed across the country as fears of a repeat of January 2019 abound.