18 December 2009

Mozambique: Guebuza Demands Professionalism From Police

Maputo — The Mozambican police must not only guarantee public order but also, in its mission to strengthen the state and democratic institutions, must always ensure respect for human rights, declared President Armando Guebuza on Thursday.

He was speaking to 1,602 graduates of a basic police training course, at the Matalane police school on the outskirts of Maputo.

Guebuza pointed out that a police uniform is a symbol of state power which committed those who wore it to defending the rights of citizens.

When a policeman intercepts a citizen for any reason "the citizen should obey your orders, not because he knows you, but because in the uniform you wear he recognises the Mozambican state and its culture of always being on the side of justice and law"

He urged the graduates to behave in such a way as "to deserve this uniform and this respect from citizens. You should know how to deserve the trust that has been deposited in you".

Policemen, he insisted, must "reject all attitudes and practices that are opposed to the ethical principles you have learnt".

There would come moments, he warned, "when you are tempted to subvert these principles". But if they submitted to temptation, and engaged in acts of corruption, "you will later regret compromising the noble and promising police career which you have just sworn to embrace".

Of the graduates, 1,252 are members of the regular police force, and 350 are prison guards. 306 of the graduates are women.

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