Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga has warned members of the force assigned to international peacekeeping missions to avoid behaviour that could tarnish the image of the organisation and the country. He said the officers should be exemplary ambassadors by lifting the country's flag high.
Comm-Gen Matanga said this at Police General Headquarters while addressing two officers who recently returned from South Sudan on United Nations peacekeeping operations and 14 others set to leave the country for Darfur on a similar mission.
"As we celebrate the return of our officers from this international assignment, sight should not be lost of the fact that it was through sheer hard work and discipline they exhibited that saw them successfully completing this noble mission," he said.
He said he was happy that the two officers had returned home to resume their duties at the beginning of the year when new personnel and organisational resolutions were made.
"Let me thus take this opportunity and share with you some of what we aim to achieve and become as an organisation. In 2019, our operations as ZRP shall be guided by the theme, 'ZRP rebranding to restore public confidence for peace and economic development in the Second Republic'," Comm-Gen Matanga said.
He said the theme was meant to align the force's activities with Government's vision to transform the country into an upper middle class economy by the year 2030.
"I would like to underscore the fact that in this Second Republic, it is no longer business as usual. I therefore call upon each and every police officer in the ZRP to tie up your laces and put in your best performance, which should be nothing short of organisational standards and ethics. We really need to put shoulders to wheel so that our Government's vision comes to fruition," he said.
Comm-Gen Matanga said the deployment of officers, military and civilians on peacekeeping missions had over the years demonstrated the country's unwavering commitment to fostering global peace and security.
He said the officers had time and again received accolades from the UN and the African Union for distinguished service on their international peacekeeping missions.
He said most of the officers had also witnessed many tragic incidents as innocent citizens lost their lives as a result of armed conflict.
Comm-Gen Matanga said Zimbabweans should draw lessons from this, chief amongst them that peace was priceless and should be cherished and upheld.
"It is an undisputed fact that civil wars are destructive as they cause unnecessary loss of precious lives, profound damage to country's infrastructure and derailment of a nation's socio-economic development," he said.
He said the departing contingent had an arduous task ahead that calls for them to be on their toes since the UN missions bring together people from different countries with the same purpose of restoring and maintaining peace and security.
"I challenge you to stand tall and lift the nation's flag and that of our organisation even higher. As you walk this noble journey towards sustenance of world peace, be sure to add your indelible footprints as it is through your priceless efforts that global peace can become a reality.
"Shun all behaviours that may distract you from the reason why you were seconded to this international assignment," Comm-Gen Matanga said.
The ceremony was attended by Deputy Commissioner-Generals and other senior officers.