Freeman Razemba Crime Reporter
Police must expeditiously investigate all cases of corruption, dishonesty and abuse of authority, the President has said.
Speaking at the 2015 police Presidential Graduation Parade of 698 officers in Harare, President Mugabe said Government strongly condemns abuse of authority, be it by individuals or the police in general.
“Accordingly, all cases of corruption, dishonesty and abuse of authority should be expeditiously investigated, regardless of whether they occur among the police or the general public,” he said.
“All graduands, their seniors and colleagues, and indeed all Government employees, should maintain, at all times, a zero tolerance to corruption.
“Public servants, imbued with integrity and commitment, all should always strive to work for national development.”
The President said to mould dynamic, assertive and professional cadres, the training of police officers has to provide a rich and rigorous blend of courses.
He said the training programme focused on core courses which included Criminal Law Procedure, Law of Evidence, Human Rights, Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Political history.
“To this already comprehensive training programme, I am challenging the ZRP to add, in line with current policing trends, courses that squarely meet the challenges posed by the modern-day sophisticated criminal.
“Although criminals often develop parallel and potentially frustrating skills techniques that seek to manipulate technology, police training should include advanced computer forensic and other advanced investigative and analytical techniques, which are geared to combat crimes such as terrorism, drug, human and arms trafficking. When equipped with appropriate equipment and superior skills, our police should be found equal to task.”
President Mugabe said as they moved a gear up in combating crime, police should speed up the completion of the Automated Fingerprints Identification System (APHIS).
He said without the system, delay in the clearance of cases was likely to occur, which in turn results in unnecessary delays in court decisions.
“We all know that justice delayed is justice denied,” said President Mugabe. “It is imperative that the Ministry of Finance provides ZRP with funds to ensure that this essential facility is made operational.
“I am pleased with the ZRP’s spirited effort to complete the Criminal Investigations Department (CID). The headquarters will not just provide office accommodation, but it is also meant to house state-of-the-art forensic, ballistic and other expert scientific examination equipment.
“Such facility will, no, doubt sharpen and assist ZRP’s capacity to provide its client with a full measure of good service.
President Mugabe said the successful operations of the police were to some extent dependent on trust from the public.
“While preserving peace and security is a fundamental obligation of the police, as enshrined in Section 219 of our Constitution, that police authority is founded, in part, on what the law grants, but to a large extent, such police legal authority is heavily dependent on the public’s support and trust. As they work with the public, police must constantly strive to cultivate in and sustain the public’s invaluable trust,” he said.
He said the values, ethics and standards espoused in the Police Code of Conduct were cardinal and founded on the principles upon which the graduating police officers should be anchored.
“In the performance of your duties, I challenge all graduands, and the rest of the police force, to be professional, humble, caring and compassionate,” said President Mugabe. “You should endeavour to balance being fair and courteous, and aim to win the trust and confidence of the people.”
The pass out parade included 140 officers from the Support Unit who will form part of Zimbabwe’s contingent to the Sadc Standby Force.
“Notwithstanding the peace that prevails in our region, it is essential that the Sadc Standby Force is found always ready for any peacekeeping duties, that might arise within the region,” said President Mugabe, who is the chairperson of the regional body.
President Mugabe commissioned 20 buses and 74 trucks which were recently purchased for police operations.
He applauded the police graduands for their displays and praises they gave to him yesterday during drill demonstrations.
“May I, in my personal capacity, express my gratitude and appreciation for all the volumes of praise you have given me, for all you have said about me and all you have said about me and Africa, me and Sadc,” he said.
“I am chairman of Sadc by virtue of your support and similarly I could not have been chairman of AU without the support of all of you and Sadc as well.
“So, I say thank you. I will do my best for my country, do my best for my region, Sadc, and do my best for Africa. Africa for Africans. I thank you.”
The graduation parade was attended by several senior Government officials, senior officers from both the police the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.