ZRP chief slams budget allocation; says not enough for ammunition to deal with ‘usual public disorder’ around elections

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By Staff Reporter

THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has lamented as inadequate the force’s ZW$1,5bln equipment allocation in the 2023 national budget, saying the force needs more money for equipment ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Elliot Ngirande, the ZRP, deputy commissioner general, made the remarks Tuesday while addressing the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence and Home Affairs  on the 2023 national budget presented last week by Treasury minister Prof Mthuli Ncube.

Ngirande said Treasury allocated ZWL$1.5 billion for the procurement of ammunition, which was a far cry from the ZWL$6.8 billion requested by the ZRP.

“Given the impending general elections in the year 2023, the organisation has to adequately prepare for the usual public disorder situations,” said Ngirande.

“ … the police service is a critical stakeholder (in the 2023 elections), the proposed budget seeks to ensure that police operations are enhanced in order to achieve a peaceful environment conducive for the conduct of free and fair elections.

“The pre-election period is normally associated with a hive of political activity as contesting parties scramble to mobilise support. Police deployments are anticipated to increase in order to adequately police political gatherings,

He added; “This budget item caters for the acquisition of replacement firearms and replenishment of ammunition to adequately equip all Police establishments.

“Arms and ammunition are a critical component in police duties which include VIP and VVIP guard and escorts, counter insurgents, hostage rescue, and escorts of precious minerals and other valuables, tracking and escorting dangerous and armed criminals, as well as protection of vital installations.”

Overall, ZRP had submitted a bid of ZWL$560m which the police chief said have helped enhance its operations.

Treasury however, only allocated ZW$64bln which Ngirande said was not enough to cover challenges the force is operating under.

“Some police institutions have been switched off by ZESA and this compromises the security of the country. It is sad to note that some stations are made to operate in darkness and without water for daily consumption.”