By Darlington Gatsi
ZIMBABWE Republic Police’s (ZRP) junior officers are being ordered to vote Zanu PF at this year’s general elections NewZimbabwe.com can reveal.
The orders are being delivered by Chief Superintendents from ZRP’s Staff College at ‘ideology workshops’ underway across the country.
Evidence gleaned by NewZimbabwe.com further revealed that junior officers are being told to do away with professionalism for what the top cops titled ‘cadreship.’
The senior officers have also been telling their juniors not to vote for the opposition which wants to bring back white people.
Cadreship was interpreted by one officer as acting in accordance with the desires of ruling Zanu PF in the run up to this year’s polls.
Every junior officer has been ordered to create time for the two day workshops which have so far been held in Harare, Mashonaland Central, Bulawayo and Matabeleland North provinces.
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A number of officers who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com said despite the orders, music being played as interludes at these workshops was clear evidence they were being forced into attending Zanu PF rallies under the guise of trainings.
“We were forced to attend a two day workshop where senior officers from Staff College told us to be comrades in relation to the next elections,” said one officer who requested anonymity.
“One key point they drove was that white people want to take over control of Zimbabwe and we should not allow that. They ordered that we all vote for Zanu PF at this year’s elections.
“We did not however understand what they meant by that we were too professional and should adopt cadreship. That statement could be interpreted as coercion to vote Zanu PF.
“One of them also told us to use our uniforms to open financial doors for ourselves.”
Senior officers in the police and army have since 2008 been accused of forcing their juniors to vote in the presence.
Despite the accusations, predominantly police or army dominated areas have been known to vote for opposition parties as what happened in 2018 and 2022 when Citizens Coalition for Change’s (CCC) Tendai Biti won the Harare East seat.
The seat covers ZRP’s Morris Depot and Chikurubi camp, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services’ (ZPCS) Chikurubi and numerous other stations.
Biti in 2018 challenged postal votes cast in Bulawayo at Ross Camp after revelations junior officers had been ambushed with ballot papers despite having been told they were attending a briefing.
In 2013 similar claims were laid on senior officers who purportedly have a soft spot for Zanu PF, some from their days in the liberation struggle.
Police Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi could not be drawn to comment on the workshops.
“I am currently driving and cannot comment,” he told NewZimbabwe.com.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa is reportedly leaving no stone unturned in attempts to fend off competition from CCC President Nelson Chamisa, his main competitor for the top post.
Fissures within the ruling party emanating from past cabinet appointments, and failure to avail perks for former ministers now operating at Zanu PF headquarters have given rise to claims of factional fights that could derail Mnangagwa’s claim.