By Leopold Munhende
POLICE officers deployed enforcing Covid-19 lockdown restrictions have been promised US$650 each, with immediate, as compensation if one tests positive for the deadly virus.
In a signed communication by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Chief Staff Officer, Assistant Commissioner Patson Nyabadza dated 7 January, 2021, and gleaned by NewZimbabwe.com this week, families of police officers who succumb to the virus will also be compensated the same amount.
“If a member of the rank of superintendent and below tests Covid-19 positive and or falls ill due to Covid-19, the member is paid a grant in ZWL$ equivalent to US$650,” reads the memo.
“Any member of the rank of chief superintendent and above in the same circumstances will be paid a grant equivalent to US$1 000. Insurable cover per person shall be equivalent to one year’s pensionable emoluments and in the event of death of a member due to Covid-19, the surviving members of the family will be given the grant detailed above.”
According to the internal communication, police officers who get ill due to Covid-19 for more than the usually given 90 days will be granted another 90 days of rest.
“The Task Force on Harmonisation and Standardisation of the Public Sector Remuneration Framework resolved that victims of Covid-19 be covered by insurance. Treasury concurred to the provision of Employer’s Liability Insurance Cover for those public service employees reporting for duty during the period of the Covid-19 lockdown effective 31 March 2020 with cover extending to 30 June 2021.”
Civil servants working on the frontline have been complaining repeatedly that the government is neglecting by failing to provide adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and allowances public health workers threatening to engage in industrial action.
An unconfirmed high number of police officers, government workers, including public health workers have tested Covid-19 positive and some of them have succumbed to the virus.
However, police officers manning security checkpoints or on patrol enforcing Covid-19 regulations continue working without PPEs save for a face mask thereby putting their lives, travellers, and arrested suspects at risk.