Fee hikes, corruption at ZRP high school

EDITOR - Years back police officers had deductions from their salaries and were told the money was going to a “noble” project to build a boarding school for their children. I still remember there were a lot of complaints from the general membership of the force who suspected, correctly as current events prove, that this was another project to steal money from them by our Service Chief and his “permanent” henchmen at Police general headquarters.

The “remains” of that money we contributed built the ZRP High School in Hatcliffe. If he dreamt of owning a high school, Commissioner Augustine Chihuri should have copied from the Late ZDF Commander Zvinavashe, who built a private school at Tynwald and in Lomagundi Road from his “own resources”.

Zvinavashe never short-changed the membership of the Defence Forces into contributing their money to build a school for “himself”. Chihuri is now running ZRP High School like his private empire, forgetting that it is a police contributory project meant to benefit the generality of the police officers, serving and retired, and also our civilian compatriots.

I will not talk about the massive looting of building equipment on a massive scale when chefs built houses for themselves using the materials bought for construction of the school. There are cover-up criminal dockets, especially involving the Police Construction Unit personnel who undertake private jobs for chefs even as I write. Most police officers know these guys who were charged were front men.

I will not talk about the gradual “manipulation” of the school management from a police membership project meant to benefit and cushion children of police officers to a de facto High School wholly “owned by Chihuri” and “directed” by Commissioner Chibage, with the complicity of the Headmaster Chin’onzo, specifically recruited by Chihuri from a school where Chihuri sent his own children.

Whereas many schools have PTAs to help run the school, ZRP High School has one “parent” called Chihuri and the rest are “neighbours”. Commissioner Chibage “conveys” decisions made by the Commissioner-General concerning the running of the school, staffing, finances, contracts and everything.

I remember one meeting when police officers were told point blank that “no one was forced to bring their children at the school” because they dared say that fees were getting out of reach.

Police officers knew then, as they do now, that if Chihuri got wind that you complained about the management of the school you could be fired.

The headmaster, once a professional, has been corrupted by money and is now a willing party to the looting. Maybe this explains why his name was added to the elite of the force who get a new luxury car every two years and are allowed “buy” these cars almost brand new for peanuts after the two years.

For starters, how can he explain buying meat and vegetables from senior police officers’ farms, like Chibage’s, at inflated prices and putting the load onto underpaid police officers?

If you “behave” you can supply something to the school. After all the chefs no longer have children at the school. Ndopavakasungirirwawo saka votodya? Imagine kana Service Chief vobira nemapurisa avo chaiwo then you get a picture of what our country’s laws have become. Stealing from your own men and women pushes the heartlessness we see in police management to new heights and is a first in the uniformed services in the country and even beyond.

It pains us to see how good men can lose their conscience and watch ZRP High School change from a membership project designed to benefit police officers’ children, to a business venture where no police officer who is not corrupt or is sitting on the gravy train and relies on government salaries can afford to enrol their children there.

We do not know if there is anyone, including the highest office in the land, who has the capacity to stop this rot and allow police officers to regain their dignity.

Who is going to arrest these powerful criminals who hide behind uniform and political allegiance to loot even the patriotic police officer who is trying to lead a decent life?

We know no one will dare help our plight because our chief is so powerful and has the power to give and take life. But let him remember that one of these days we will take what is ours. We pray to God to give us the life to wait and witness the event.

Decisions at the school should be taken by a committee comprising people who have children at the school and not 60 year olds who are refusing to retire in order to steal from the Zimbabwean public.

Post published in: Letters to the Editor

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