By Staff Reporter
POLICE officers who posted videos singing and mocking their paltry salaries in the weak local currency were Monday summoned by the force’s law and order section in Harare and were told they committed a serious offence warranting dismissal.
They are set to be charged under the Police Act, according to a source from within the force.
Three officers were reportedly vetted by the controversial unit which sought to determine if their actions were not part of a grand plan for mutiny.
All this comes at a time President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration is battling to deal with reported unrest in army barracks where junior officers are said to be demanding salary hikes to levels promised just after the November 2017 coup.
“To tell the honest truth, those officers knew what they were doing was against the Police Act, every officer knows that you do not just post such videos online especially in uniform,” a police source said.
“If they are lucky they could just be accused of unbecoming behaviour but the worst case scenario could be that they want to cause alarm and despondency or actively participating in politics,” the source said, adding: “They were called in to Law and Order at Harare Central where investigations commenced as senior officers believed they could be part of a larger plot to distabilise the force.”
“One of the guys had in actual fact handed in his form for resignation but it was yet to be accepted. He does not mind being fired because he managed to attain tertiary qualification during the time he was in the force even though a lot worse could happen to him. The sergeant is the one who is really worried because he was not looking forward to leaving so early.”
“The ladies who were posting sexually suggestive images were also summoned to explain themselves, but they could be off the hook if they play their cards well. They could just say they were out to clean the image of the institution that has been tarnished by pictures of some of their male counterparts who have been photographed drunk or dirty.”
Sections 5, 7, 35, 42 and 48 of the 29th and 34th Schedules of the 2003 Police Act criminalise the spreading of reports that cause alarm and despondency, insubordination and or taking an active role in politics by either speaking at political functions, wearing branded clothing and chanting slogans.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi could not be reached for comment.