At the end of last year Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri once again ignited controversy by telling senior cops if they are not going to support ZANU PF in this year's elections, 'they're not fit to wear the uniform and its decorated medals.'
Chihuri, a fiercely loyal Robert Mugabe supporter, also ordered the force to ensure that ZANU PF wins the next elections.
He was speaking to senior officers, from the rank of Assistant Commissioner to Deputy Commissioner, gathered at a retreat in the Vumba in the Eastern Highlands, last December.
He told them: 'The time to leave is now, if you are not going to toe the line,' according to a report carried by South Africa's Mail and Guardian newspaper.
Chihuri's address to the police was a major topic of discussion in cabinet this week where a copy of his speech was read out verbatim for ministers. Mugabe chaired the meeting but did not contribute anything to the debate.
The release of Chihuri's speech during Cabinet proceedings was designed to emphasise how partisan the police force is.
According to the Mail and Guardian the four-day meeting, convened to strategise for the referendum and elections, ended up as an indoctrination exercise. Instead of dealing with policy issues, the cops spent most of the time being told how to deal with political opponents not aligned to ZANU PF.
During the retreat the police officers discussed tactical strategies to subdue political opponents, disrupt rallies or meetings and target influential individuals in rural areas. They also discussed how to target non-governmental organisations as ways to 'safeguard the revolution.'
Some of the senior officers, who spoke to the paper on condition of anonymity, said Chihuri issued veiled threats to them, that 'anyone seen to be aiding and supporting the enemy should ship out of the force.'
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Director, McDonald Lewanika, told SW Radio Africa's Election Watch program on Friday that the latest police crackdown on civil society is a result of ZANU PF's resolutions passed during their Gweru conference in December.
'Chihuri, being a well known ZANU PF supporter, is simply implementing what came out of the resolutions in Gweru,' Lewanika said.
In one of the recent crackdowns on civic groups police targeted Radio Dialogue, a community radio project in Bulawayo. They briefly detained its director and confiscated a number of wind up radios.
Lewanika said that one of the resolutions at the end of the ZANU PF conference was against what the party calls the 'pirate' radio stations broadcasting into Zimbabwe. The resolution said the party was, 'dismayed by the continuing violation of international law which has undermined the GPA through the sponsorship of pirate radio stations by the British, American and Dutch governments that respectively sponsor SW Africa, Studio Seven and VOP.'
The former ruling party also resolved to 'condemn the EU and white Commonwealth countries for supplying ICT gadgets, such as cellphone, decoders, radios to communities to create conditions for the broadcast and spread of falsehoods.
On Friday, Jestina Mukoko from the Zimbabwe Peace Project was charged with taking part in the running of an unregistered organisation, and possessing smuggled radios and cellphones.
Lewanika added: 'You can see that what the police are doing came from the ZANU PF conference. They're now criminalising and disrupting CSO's and NGO's and stopping them from doing their work.' He added that he was certain the police will attempt to shut down some of these organisations.