Makone deplores police conduct

Statement by the Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Theresa Makone on the conduct of the police

Reports that the police in Harare and in Nkayi went on the rampage and assaulted innocent people going about their business make sad reading and only serve to confirm why our collective confidence in our police force continues to be eroded every day.

As Minister of Home Affairs, I wish to register my displeasure at the deplorable action by the police in Nkayi who have also become notorious for dispersing lawful gatherings sanctioned by the courts.

Our police force should be the people’s police, guided only by their national obligation to serve the people. It does not bode well for the image of the police if they are seen as being at the forefront of assaulting and harassing people instead of protecting them.

There are a few bad apples that are tarnishing the image of the entire police force.

As Minister of Home Affairs, I am aware that there are many professional men and women in uniform whose reputation is being dragged through the mud by those who have chosen to pursue a politically partisan line.

We all want a professional police force which discharges of its duties professionally. A people’s police force that protects them rather than assaults them.

A police force that imbues confidence to the citizens and respects the verdicts of the courts.

It is a fact that as Minister of Home Affairs, I have not been spared the embarrassment of having my own lawful rallies dispersed by unruly elements while the police watched. This undermines the people’s confidence in the police force.

I want to assure the people of Zimbabwe that I have engaged the Commissioner-General on many occasions about all these issues and nothing has changed. I have alerted the President, to whom all these service chiefs report to on operational issues, and there has not been any shift in the general conduct of some members of the police.

Once again, I will be engaging the Commissioner-General and the President about the deplorable behaviour of the police in Nkayi and other areas.

I will continue to do all I can within my limited powers to ensure peace and order in Zimbabwe. As we trudge towards the next election, I urge the police to respect the people of Zimbabwe who are the very reason why they exist as a police force.

Theresa Makone, Co-Minister of Home Affairs

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