Junior Cops Scorn ‘Dummy’ Covid Compensation

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By Staff Reporter

JUNIOR police officers have poured scorn on a US$650 amount promised as compensation by their employer on any serving member who contracts Covid-19.

This follows promises of the US$650 on members holding the ranks of Constable to Superintendent while Chief Superintendents to Commissioner General Godwin Matanga were entitled to US$1 000.

But speaking in separate interviews with Wednesday, some disgruntled members said both government and their direct employer were just selling them a dummy.

The junior members of the force said there has not been any attempt to roll out Covid-19 testing on the entire membership which has not been allowed any means, financial or otherwise, to turn to private health facilities for the crucial service.

They further questioned the wisdom of paying a higher sum to their bosses who are often ensconced in their offices and are entitled to private transport with relatively minimal chances of contracting the deadly disease.

“We are not being tested. They have said nothing about us getting tested meaning for the past year, we have been a danger to society,” said one officer who declined to be named for fear of victimisation.

“Any thought of getting oneself tested at some of these private health institutions is not being entertained, worse off since they only recognise our own hospitals or clinics and government ones.”

Another junior officer who also requested anonymity said failure to roll out any testing on members was an attempt to duck the very same responsibility of compensating the workforce.

“If they do not test, then no one will be recorded as being positive.

“One would even question why senior officers who usually spend the day in their offices would be given US$1 000, way above what we will be compensated yet we are more exposed on a daily basis,” he said.

No official details of police officers who have tested positive or succumbed to Covid-19 have been publicly shared since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country last March.

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner, Paul Nyathi refused to be drawn into the talk, choosing to question our journalist on why he was interviewing junior officers.

“Why are you interviewing these junior officers? Why are you engaging them? If you have got friends in the police force who are now in the habit of leaking organisation information, then you are not performing your duty as a journalist,” said an unkind Nyathi.

“If you are a journalist and in the habit of befriending officers so that you can get security information, then I think you are not doing your job properly.

“I cannot answer you anymore since you say you have officers giving you information.”