25 April 2019

Zimbabwe: Be Proactive, Support Unit Told

Government has challenged police officers from the Support Unit to be proactive when deployed to maintain law and order rather than wait for a directive from the command centre.

The sentiments come after Government noted during the recent disturbances in and around the capital that most police officers did not act to contain the situation alleging that they had not received direct instructions from the Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga.

Addressing officers during a visit to the Support Unit in Chikurubi, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain Mathema said there should never be a moment of doubt on their ability to perform assigned tasks.

"During the unpatriotic rioters demonstrations, we were informed, CGP, myself and the permanent secretary, we were informed that at times they were cases where police officers were saying no, instead of taking action, the police officers were saying I haven't received a direct order from the Commissioner-General.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we were all trained. We all know the Constitution of Zimbabwe. We know the Police Act. We know all the instruments that create you.

"As a police officer, you are trained to take decisions right or wrong. This issue of indiscipline that the Commissioner-General has not given me a direct directive does not exist in all those books.

He added, "You are supposed to do what you have been directed to do. When you have been posted to go and do a job, do your job professionally in the manner that you were trained to do it. If you do not do that, then you do not deserve to be in ZRP, let alone the Support Unit. Make decisions. That's why you are there. That's why you are trained."

Minister Mathema said after interactions with the Commissioner-General, they saw it paramount to visit the officers.

"At times, people find themselves going astray simply because they do not have the correct information or guidance. Remember, there is always a mistaken tendency by some among you to want to wander or stray from the path of righteousness.

"It is therefore, important that from time-to-time, we give counsel, guidance as well as admonish," he said.

He said Comm-Gen Matanga acknowledged that the Support Unit had stumbled along the way and what was important was helping it recover.

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