The sad reality is that we now have political activists and criminals donning police uniforms masquerading as custodians of the law but instead causing sleepless nights to peace-loving Zimbabweans.
This is the reason why some right-thinking citizens have called for the removal of Augustine Chihuri as the police chief. What happened in Shamva is a result of deep-rooted corruption in the Zimbabwe Republic Police, which is co-ordinated from the Police General Headquarters in Harare.
It seems thugs and criminals have taken over the country’s policing duties.
Even kombi drivers and their conductors who have the infamous tag of being notorious when it comes to road rules have voiced their concerns over the police behaviour. Kombi drivers plying the Harare-Norton route recently staged a one-day strike in protest against the corrupt activities of the police along this route.
Every highway is swarming with hordes of police officers stopping every public transport vehicle and demanding bribes in the full view of passengers and other motorists.
Nothing is being done to stop this despite assurances by some senior police officers that they will get to the bottom of the problem. Nowadays even a complainant does not feel safe to visit a police station lest they be asked to pay some token in order for the police officers to carry out investigations.
Justice Martin Makonese, while opening the Hwange circuit court, said recently only the poor were going to prison as the police often bungled investigations involving the well-connected.
Another recent incident that showed that our police force had gone to the dogs was when officers ran amok in central Harare looting wares from long-suffering vendors, which they then passed on to their wives to resell on the informal market.
As long as the police chief fails to take action against errant behaviour among his subordinates, the general public’s distrust and suspicion will remain.
Agrippa Zvomuya, Harare.