POLICE CORRUPTION IN ZIMBABWE
Every country in the world has their own Police force to keep a check on Law and Order with mandates to prevent, investigate and prosecute those who fall foul of the law.
The organization mandated to do so under the apartheid regime of the former Republic of Rhodesia, was the British South Africa Police (BSAP), the predecessor of the present Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).
Baptism with fire
The Zimbabwe Republic Police had a very sudden baptism with fire like none other Police force in any other country and this could be the reason that it is rife with nepotism, political interference, bribery and corruption among many other minuses, today.
The year 1980 brought the sudden baptism we talk about when the apartheid regime was dislodged in a popular vote and the majority black community was given the reins to rule the country which saw an overall change in all spheres of public life, government structure and civil administration and in the rank and file of the Police force among many other social and political upheavals.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police was born out of this uncertainty with most senior white police officers being forcibly retired and black “other ranks” being promoted to responsible and sensitive positions overnight, where there should have been a systematic and gradual phasing out, if that was what was desired by the new black government at the helm but it was not.
It would be prudent to note that the British South Africa Police restricted the promotion of black “other ranks” up to the rank of Sub Inspector only and none was granted a Commission to hold commanding positions, hence their training was also limited to what they needed to know and carry out what they were ordered to do.
The pertinent reason for sense and sensibility to be put to the winds was the years of persecution, inhuman treatment of black detainees, and color segregation among other barbaric acts committed under the apartheid regime, which was the time bomb that exploded in the year 1980.
A round peg in a square hole
The crux of this problem would be better defined when considering the appointment of the first black Commissioner General of the Zimbabwe Republic Police Wiridzayi Nguruve, a lowly police constable who had joined the British South Africa Police in 1960 with no command experience, human resources management or law enforcement training and knowledge.
He became a round peg in a square hole and whilst his appointment was politically motivated he had to swear allegiance and be subservient to his political masters who placed him in that predicament.
A bite too big to chew
This sudden elevation to command was too big a bite for the new and first Commissioner General to chew and what followed is the fate of Law & Order in Zimbabwe today.
The rot that began in 1980 is still decaying the very fabric of the Zimbabwe Republic Police more so with a President who has ruled the country since the fall of the apartheid regime with an iron fist where nepotism, bribery and corruption is rife in all spheres of Zimbabwean life and in such a environment, a corrupt Police force is no surprise to any.