Stop this police nuisance

The police seem never to run out of ideas to irritate and harass us as Zimbabwean citizens - embarrassing the country in the process. They have openly extorted bribes at endless roadblocks on our roads, and are still doing so with impunity.

Paul Bogaert
Paul Bogaert

They smash vehicle windscreens without provocation and arrest people without good reason. When you go to a police station, you are treated like a murderer and when you complain, you are thrown behind bars. Some years ago, they said they had written a charter meant to improve service delivery within the law enforcement organisation, but that seems to have been thrown out the window at some stage.

Inexplicably, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has adopted what seems like a show force strategy which involves its reaction group that is based in Braedside. Details from the Police Reaction Group (PRG) often move around in open trucks, clad in menacing black gear, helmets and wielding riot batons. As they roam around burning taxpayers’ fuel on clearly meaningless beats, they sing zanu(pf) songs and beat the truck sides with their batons.

Of late, they have adopted a mysterious strategy whereby they park close to private buildings in the city centre or its periphery, chanting and beating the vehicle body with the sticks. They can do as much as an hour in one place, drawing the attention of curious passersby. Clearly their presence disturbs the peace. Considering what used to happen in the past when the police were used to persecute innocent civilians in a brazen manner, people are naturally terrified by the sight of these police details.

The purpose of the PRG is to react to reports of violence. The anti-riot details must, therefore, be confined to the barracks until there are genuine reports of unrest. Their unjustified presence in the streets and the unnecessary noise they make sends the wrong signals. In fact, it is the police who disturb the peace. It brings back memories of yesteryear when we were brutalised by the very organisation that was meant to protect us. In decent society, the police commissioner general must be taken to task regarding this scandal, and even fired. But not so in our crude Zimbabwe where law enforcers have become lawless themselves.

We are supposed to be a free people and we don’t need a lawless police force.

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga
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