MPs challenge government over police welfare; some officers operating in ramshackle cabins

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By Reason Razao | Senior Reporter

Members of Parliament (MP) have piled pressure on the government to address the plight of law enforcement agents adding that most infrastructure used by police has been dilapidated beyond refurbishment.

In some cases, according to the MPs, some police stations still have wooden offices that are ramshackle and have leaking roofs.

Speaking in Parliament, Zanu PF Mutare North MP Admire Mahachi called on the government to make considerable plans for the welfare of the police.

“What is Government policy with regard to the welfare of our police force? This includes their accommodation, uniforms and access to health facilities such as clinics especially for those working along our borders,” said Mahachi.

“For example, there is the Provincial Headquarters for Manicaland Province. There is Murahwa building that is no longer fit to be used as offices for police officers as it has a leaking roof.

“We would want to know what steps the Government is taking to refurbish police stations and police camps that were built using wood so that they can be built using bricks, such as is the case with Marange Police Station.”

Mahachi alluded to the lack of safe and clean water in some police stations forcing the officers to resort to rivers.

“There should also be boreholes in police camps so that our police officers have access to clean and safe water.

“I would like to give another example, that of Mudzi Police Station. They get their water from the nearby river. This water is not safe for human consumption.

“The police leave their work to go and fetch water from the river instead of performing their duties of arresting those who would have broken the law,” the Mutare North MP said.

Zanu PF Goromonzi West MP, Biatah Nyamupinga-Karimatsenga, revealed that some police officers were failing to effect arrests due to lack of transportation.

“My supplementary question is during this time of commemorating the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, police are not capacitated to deal with issues of gender-based violence because of transport.

“People are reporting but police are saying, they do not have transport to go to the scene of the accident. I would like to know what the government is doing so that we are on the scene of gender-based violence in time to avoid death,” queried Karimatsenga-Nyamupinga.

In response, the government’s Leader of Business in Parliament, Ziyambi Ziyambi said the 2024 National Budget will address the concerns raised by Mahachi while dismissing Karimatsenga-Nyamupinga sentiments.

“Actually, it is not very correct that the police do not have transport. In fact, if you have noticed over the last two years, there has been a renewal of the fleet for the police even in rural areas, we have had a significant increase in police vehicle presence. It is not very correct that they do not have,” said Ziyambi.

“Actually, one of the best things that His Excellency has done over the last two years is to capacitate both the national army, the police and the prisons in terms of vehicles. If Hon. Members want to be very honest, the presence of vehicles from the security sector within the community has increased,” he added.