The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services has revealed that morale is at its lowest ebb within the country’s police service.
Committee chairperson Brigadier General (Rtd) Levi Mayihlome, while presenting a report on the state of police stations in Zimbabwe told Parliament that the problems within the service were doubles edged in nature.
“It was the Committee’s observation that the problems with the ZRP were double edged in nature, that is, internally and externally. On one hand the inquiry investigated thoroughly the factors that led to a surge in alleged cases of indiscipline among junior Police Officers, a dilemma which has a direct impact on the citizenry in terms of its constitutional rights and expectations from the Police Service.
“The Committee observed that the morale of officers across the entire Police Service was at its lowest ebb despite their demonstration of resilience and patriotism. Further procrastination of redress of the various challenges in the entire organisation has the potential of collapsing the policing system due to increased indiscipline and poor service delivery,” reads part of Mayihlome’s report.
He said the majority of challenges within the service were as a result of underfunding.
“The Committee deduced that the majority of the challenges faced by the ZRP are a result of underfunding and delayed release of funds by the Treasury. The Committee noted that retention funds can help expedite development and improve service delivery in ZRP.
“Previously, retention funds were used on critical expenditure items such as goods and services, institutional requirements, maintenance, construction projects and acquisition of capital assets. Accountability mechanisms can be put in place to ensure that funds are used responsibly and transparently,” he said.
Mayihlome said state of infrastructure inclusive of accommodation, ablution and offices in most police stations across the country was in bad shape and a sign of an ailing system.
“The state of infrastructure across the ten provinces leaves a lot to be desired. Dilapidated institutional and residential accommodation, poor ablution facilities resulting in officers opting for the bush system, obsolete office furniture, inadequate tools of trade, use of ineffective policing equipment which is inconsistent with contemporary policing technology, inadequate transport and fuel supplies are just but a few of the many signs and symptoms of an ailing policing system,” he said.