Freeman Razemba Crime Reporter
Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga has challenged police officers to ensure peace and tranquillity before, during and after the forthcoming elections.
He said officers also needed to go beyond the call of duty, particularly during the elections.
Comm-Gen Matanga was speaking last week at the closing ceremony of the Commissioner-General of Police Sports Gala for 2018.
“This year’s Commissioner-General of Police Sports Gala comes at a time when his Excellency President ED Mnangagwa has already pronounced that all of us must have a total shift from the way we used to discharge our duties,” said Comm-Gen Matanga.
“This, therefore, calls for us to embrace a renewed impetus and work ethic that is characterised by our enduring core values of commitment, professionalism, accountability, transparency and integrity in all engagements with our clients.”
Comm-Gen Matanga challenged police officers to work hard to fight crime. He said he was happy with the patrol units that had been deployed countrywide.
“The citizens of Zimbabwe demand to see us being visible day and night, in streets and crime hotspots,” he said.
“This bolsters their confidence in our services and ultimately reduces the fear and commission of crime.
“Let me also remind you that, whilst sport plays an integral role in the shaping of a whole person, we are police officers first.”
The discipline that characterised the recent sporting activities, he said, should be the hallmark of how they discharged their duties.
“In equal measure, you must remain cognisant of the fact that the 2018 harmonised elections are around the corner,” he said.
“I thus call upon all of you to be prepared to police the nation for peace and tranquillity before, during and after this crucial plebiscite.
“This might call for some of you to work for extended hours and to also forgo time off and leave, but the desire to put our motherland first before self-comfort should drive you to work even harder.”
Comm-Gen Matanga said the force had always continued to place premium value on the participation of all police officers in sports, as this helped them become strong, vigilant and ever-ready to face crime in its diverse forms.
“This explains why in normal circumstances, we set aside every Wednesday afternoon for sports,” he said.
“However, because of the nature of police work, which is very demanding and quite involving, not everyone may have the opportunity to go for sports on these Wednesdays.”
Comm-Gen Matanga said the gala helped police interact and share policing challenges and best practices peculiar to their various work stations.
The event was attended by senior police officers and officers from the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services.