- Download 77
- File Size 660.35 KB
- File Count 1
- Create Date March 1, 2022
- Last Updated March 1, 2022
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 1 MARCH 2022 VOL 48 NO 26
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 1st March, 2022
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
(v)HON. NDUNA: Good afternoon Mr. Speaker. I come on a point of privilege with a heavy heart. I speak about the Cyber Security Act which seeks to regulate the internet and to stop acts of misconduct under the guise and umbrella of social media. Secondly, there is the issue of the opposition casting aspersions and accusations on the ruling party, ZANU PF as having murdered their electorate. Mr. Speaker Sir, I ask that the Minister of Home Affairs...
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. That Act is being reviewed in terms of process. Hon. Nduna, can I get a point of clarification from you? Are you talking about the Data Protection Act or Bill?
(v)HON. NDUNA: Mr. Speaker Sir, am I still on line?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes. Hon. Nduna, the issue you are referring to is under police investigation and I do not think we should debate that. Allow the police to complete their investigation and the matter will take its route in the court of law. So be guided accordingly.
(v)HON. MBONDIAH: Thank you Mr. Speaker, good afternoon.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Good afternoon.
(v)HON. MBONDIAH: On a point of privilege Mr. Speaker. My point is arising from the current unrest that is happening in Ukraine. As Zimbabweans, we have students who are studying in Ukraine and are currently under distress. My concern is on the safety of those students and I would like to plead with the Minister of Foreign Affairs if he can come and give a Ministerial Statement to this august House in regards to their evacuation or their safety to another country. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you. Please follow international news. This matter is before the African Union and the African Union is seized with the matter at that level. That is the level of Heads of State and Government. So allow the matter to be dealt with by the African Union, obviously in consultation with member countries that form the Organisation of African Union.
(v)HON. MBONDIAH: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. T. MOYO: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 11 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 12 has been disposed of.
HON. PETER MOYO: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
RESTORATION OF THE MOTION ON THE THIRD REPORT OF THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE ON THE SPECIAL MAIZE PROGRAMME/COMMAND AGRICULTURE ON THE ORDER PAPER
HON. B. DUBE: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move the motion standing in my name that the motion on the Third Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Special Maize Programme/Command Agriculture, which was superseded by the end of the Third Session of the Ninth Parliament, be restored on the Order Paper in terms of Standing Order No. 77.
HON. PETER MOYO: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. T. MOYO: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 13 and 14 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 15 has been disposed of.
HON. NYASHANU: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE, HOME AFFAIRS AND SECURITY SERVICES ON THE STATE OF SERVICE DELIVERY AND INFRASTRUCTURE AT ZRP ESTABLISHMENTS
HON. RTD. BRIG. GEN. MAYIHLOME: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services on the state of Service Delivery and Infrastructure at Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Establishments.
HON. NGULUVHE: I second.
HON. RTD. BRIG. GEN. MAYIHLOME:
The Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services conducted an inquiry into the state of infrastructure and service delivery by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP). The initiative was driven by concerns from members of the Police Service and the general public about poor service conditions which have led to the declining state of service delivery. This prompted the undertaking of the inquiry which culminated into this report. The report provides highlights of the Committee’s findings, observations and recommendations.
2.0 OBJECTIVES OF THE ENQUIRY
The specific objectives include:
- To have first-hand information about the conditions of service for the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP);
- To get insight into the challenges and experiences facing the ZRP;
- To assess the ZRP infrastructure (office, workshops, institutional and residential accommodation) and;
To provide informed recommendations for improved service delivery by the ZRP.
3.1 The Committee received oral evidence from the Ministry of
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage on various issues, including the security of minerals following reported cases of mineral leakages, a surge in cases of indiscipline among junior police officers and operational challenges at points of entry and exits along the borderline. The Committee undertook fact-finding visits and assessed the state of existing infrastructure and its maintenance and made several interviews with members of the Police Service from all the ten provinces of the country. During the visits, officers commanding provinces and districts made presentations highlighting operational and administrative challenges ZRP was facing in carrying out its constitutional mandate.
4.1 The advent of the Second Republic ushered in a strategic
opportunity to improve the country’s image and ensure social protection for all. In its efforts to embrace the Government’s drive towards the realisation of the National Vision 2030, the Committee resolved to embark on a fact finding mission to establish the root causes of the alleged predicaments facing the ZRP. 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. On the other hand, it did not neglect the views of the members of the Police Service in terms of their day to day functional prerequisites. The Committee observed that the aforementioned state of affairs had the potential of compromising national security if left unaddressed. Therefore, it was found pertinent to gather factual evidence in order to establish ways of motivating, capacitating and strengthening the ZRP.
5.0 FINDINGS AND OBSERVATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE
5.1 Institutional Accommodation
The Committee noted that the Zimbabwe Republic Police has an acute shortage of accommodation. Following the increase of the organisation’s human resources establishment to 50 000, the state of office accommodation in the organisation reached unacceptable levels with a deficit of 3 000 offices. The dilapidated state of most of the offices across provinces, districts and stations further diminishes the public’s confidence in the organisation’s service delivery capabilities. Most severely affected were rural stations where officers have now resorted to the use of tents, zinc and wooden cabins as offices. In some stations such as Makosa in Mashonaland East and Hwange in Matabeleland North, prisoners’ cells have been turned into offices. Some sections, for example the Victim Friendly Unit (VFU) and Community Relations and Liaison Office (CRLO), were sharing offices and this is not ideal considering that survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and other sensitive crimes require confidentiality and privacy when being assisted.
5.2 Residential Accommodation
The Committee was petrified to note that the Zimbabwe Republic Police had an acute shortage of residential accommodation resulting in almost half of its active human resource residing in rented accommodation. The state of affairs was appalling and left officers vulnerable to being compromised by some sections of the society. Current statistics reflected that out of the human resource strength of 44 687, only 26 398 police officers resided in police camps. In most cases, a single house was shared by three families resulting in overcrowding. An estimated total of 19 999 police officers resided out of camp which affected the effectiveness and efficiency of police operations. The level of dilapidation of the existing residential infrastructure further compounds the dire situation. In some serious cases, horse stables and prisoners’ cells have been converted into rooms currently occupied by desperate police officers. The Committee even noted that some members of the police deployed on specific operations used corridors for temporary accommodation while others slept in offices. Over and above that, most ablution facilities in the establishments were on the verge of collapse while at some stations they were non-existent.
In order for the police to effectively discharge their duties on a daily basis, there is need for them to produce a number of documents such as criminal dockets for operational processes and reports for supervisory and administrative processes. It was sad to note that basic stationery items such as bond paper, toner, and bench paper, fingerprint ink among others, were not enough to cover all police stations. As a result, some police members and officers would end up using their personal funds to purchase stationery items. In extreme circumstances, the police would end up using outdated calendars and cardboard boxes as substitutes for paper sheets.
Lack of stationery compromises the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery in any organization, more-so for the ZRP which is a key security organization where records are very crucial. The Committee was indeed disturbed to note that officers sometimes resorted to begging from the public for typing, printing and photocopying services and, in extreme cases, went out of their way using their meagre resources to cover up for the organization by providing stationery.
5.4 Contemporary Technological Equipment (including ICT gadgets)
The Committee found it very strange that ZRP was seriously lagging behind in the use of modern technologies such as computers. With crime trends becoming more complex due to advancement in technology globally, an ill-equipped security organization may not be able to competently maintain peace and order. Moreover, with cybercrime increasing rapidly and criminals using very sophisticated equipment and technology to commit crime, the ZRP must be at par with global policing trends in using new technology to combat crime.
Contemporary technological equipment such as biometric fingerprint machine, photographing and video filming gadgets, CCTV and scanners for use in Information and Crime Management is essential in modern day policing. Very few stations had office computers, printers and photocopiers. Most stations used computers personally owned by members whilst some relied on external typing services which had to be paid for. This poses threats of having confidential information falling into wrong hands.
Border control, especially at entry and exit points, is a mammoth task for the department due to lack of detecting devices, scanners, drones and the absence of a solid integrated system that allows instant sharing of security information requiring immediate attention.
5.5 Communication System (Telephones and radio equipment)
The Committee noted that communication is vital in enhancing effective policing. To that end, the Committee learnt that ZRP, in its Charter, pledges to answer at least 90% of all telephone calls within ten seconds or three rings as well as attend to radio calls within three shouts. These set targets were, however, dependent upon the existence of the requisite telecommunications infrastructure.
It was observed by the Committee that police stations, especially those in rural and peri-urban areas, did not have working telephone lines while their radio communication gadgets were down for a long time. Police officers had since resorted to using their personal mobile phones, thereby making supervision under this sub core area difficult. To exacerbate the situation, some stations across police provinces did not have mobile network connectivity, making the state of affairs even direr. Instantaneous inter-station and inter-district communication mechanisms were poor (if not non-existent), particularly in remote areas and thus made effective policing very complicated.
The Committee further noted that all ZRP provinces required adequate telecommunications infrastructure in the form of telephone lines, hand held and base station radios and long range repeaters. A delay in rectifying that had the potential of plunging the country into security turmoil given an upsurge of trans-boundary crimes which have an influence on internal crime control.
5.6 The State of Transport
The Committee learnt that the organization's national fleet was far below its requirement of 7000 vehicles. The current motor vehicle strength stood at 2167 and only 807 were on the road. There was, therefore, a national deficit of 4833 motor vehicles. About 75% of the vehicles on the road were in urban areas especially at Provincial Headquarters whilst district and rural police stations accounted for the remaining 25%. The Committee noted that the depleted vehicular fleet and erratic fuel supplies had negatively impacted on the sub core area of scene attendance as three quarters of the stations did not have operational vehicles and that included traffic sections. This made it difficult for the police to timeously attend to crime and road traffic accidents scenes and most of the time, the police personnel were outpaced by criminals who had better resources. Motorcycles and bicycles were in short supply, thereby impeding swift patrols. Border patrols, which required all-terrain vehicles with inbuilt modern communication and tracking equipment, were severely affected due to lack of transport. The same applied to aquatic patrols along the Zambezi River where high speed boats with special policing equipment were needed.
It was disturbing to note that several Commanding Officers did not have vehicles entitled to them. Vehicles for supervision were scarce, no wonder why there is an increase in indiscipline among junior police officers especially in remote areas. Lack of funding for maintenance of the existing fleet had further worsened the shocking transport situation in the ZRP. In addition, the Committee noted that there was a serious shortage of ambulances for the department in all the provinces.
5.7.0 Fuels and lubricants
5.7.1 The Committee was informed by the ZRP authorities that
the organization required an average of 500 000 litres of petrol and 800 000 litres of diesel per month at the current vehicle strength. The figure was expected to increase as the number of vehicles increased. However, the department was receiving an average of 10% and 7% of its monthly requirements for diesel and petrol respectively.
Furthermore, it was observed that there was a serious shortage of engine oil, brake and clutch fluid and other lubricants for routine service, which is crucial for the life of motor vehicles. Fuel carried in containers, especially in remote areas would easily get contaminated leading to engine failures.
5.8.1 Travelling and Subsistence Allowances
The Committee noted that members of the Police Service sometimes carried out duties which required them to be away from their stations, hence the need to be paid travelling and subsistence allowances. However, it was noted that the budgetary allocation for that area was usually inadequate to meet all claims. Oftentimes, members were deployed without travelling and subsistence allowances and food rations, subjecting them to corrupt tendencies, especially along the country’s borderline.
5.8.2 Cycle Allowance
Police Officers, in their quest to conduct patrols, attend scenes, investigate crimes and attend court on time, have to use bicycles among other cheaper forms of transport. However, most cycles at police stations were found in unserviceable conditions. While it is the responsibility of government to provide these critical tools of trade, most officers purchased those cycles with their personal earnings. It was disheartening to discover that the gazetted Cycle Allowance which must be paid to members of the rank of Sergeant and Constables had since been stopped. This, therefore, discourages officers in doing their duties as they have to use personal funds to maintain the same.
5.8.3 Clothing Allowance
Some members of the Police Service do not wear the prescribed ZRP uniform due to the nature of their duties. They use plain clothing. The Committee was very disturbed to note that a paltry ZWL$15.00 was paid as an allowance towards clothing. The allowance currently pays for nothing less than a banana. Like in many other such scenarios, members of the Police Service were forced to dig deep into their pockets to buy clothing for use during the course of their work.
5.8.4 Other Allowances
Members of the organization are transferred from one station to the other on needs basis, hence the need to be paid disturbance allowances. The allowance has for some time not been forthcoming, thereby affecting the welfare of members. It is in this regard that Treasury should seriously consider allocating funds towards this critical allowance, lest transfers become a demotivating factor for police officers and members, and a source of persistent litigations. Quite often police officers are deployed in areas that experience harsh weather conditions. Places such as Kariba, Hwange, Mount Darwin, Nyamapanda and Chiredzi among others, can become extremely hot. Uniforms usually lose colour faster than expected due to excessive heat. It is, therefore, necessary to consider paying heat allowance to officers deployed in such areas.
Living-out allowances were also not being paid to those officers who were staying outside camps. Such officers were experiencing hardships on payment of rentals in foreign currency and would oftentimes report for duty late due to transport challenges.
5.9 Holding Cells and Welfare of Detained Persons
Ventilation was very poor in the majority of cells that were visited by the Committee. Some had toilets which were no longer usable. In worse scenarios, some stations did not have holding cells, thereby resorting to using charge offices for detaining suspects while others used wooden or metal shacks which were hardly secure for the purpose. This was noted as risking the lives of both officers and suspects in one way or the other.
A case in point was that of Maboleni in Midlands where there were no prisoners’ cells. The station relied on the district cells which were about forty kilometers away. Communication and transport challenges exacerbated the handling of detained suspects at the station.
Scarcity of food and linen for detained suspects was seen as a major challenge across provinces. Suspects depended on food provisions from their relatives. In worst scenarios, officers at the stations would provide their personal food to feed detained suspects.
5.10 Health Facilities and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs)
The Committee discovered that there were inadequate medical facilities and supplies in almost all the provincial police hospitals and clinics. Essential drugs and modern equipment were critically insufficient. Though very vital, PPEs were in short supply. The Committee was concerned to learn that officers would sometimes attend accident and murder scenes without adequate PPEs where they were expected to carry injured persons and dead bodies.
At the pick of the COVID-19 pandemic, officers risked their lives as frontline officers, more-so when they had to escort returnees to quarantine centres without adequate personal protective equipment.
5.11 Water and ablution facilities
The water and sanitation situation in the ZRP has remained ominous since most of the facilities have not been maintained or rehabilitated for decades. Most stations visited relied on the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) supply, which in most cases remains erratic. The majority of police stations would go for several months without water supply while a few got the precious liquid once a week. This situation had posed health hazards, especially in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. In most rural areas, officers accessed water from community boreholes which were quite a distance from the station or their residential camps.
Most police stations which did not have running water relied on the use of blair toilets for relief. Toilet facilities at most stations and bases were found in a sorry state. In rural areas, collapsing pit latrines was a common site. In worse scenarios such as at Maboleni Police Station in the Midlands Province and Makhado in Matabeleland South, officers used the nearby bush. The practice is unhealthy and it exposes members to snake bites and attacks by both diurnal and nocturnal animals.
Sadly, it is alleged that one of the police officers who was found dead in the nearby bush while responding to the call of nature at Makhado, was a victim of snakebite.
Being a public place, water and ablution facilities are an avoidable necessity at all police establishments and the Committee implores responsible authorities to look into this appalling situation in the ZRP as a matter of urgency.
5.12 Recreational Facilities
Members of the Police Service require recreational facilities where they can entertain themselves after work due to the strenuous nature of their duties. However, most stations no longer had such facilities. Where those facilities were available, their condition was deplorable. Football pitches, tennis and volleyball courts, among others were hardly recognised as the infrastructure had since been abandoned and had not been maintained for a long time. Wet and dry canteens have since been abandoned yet they remain a crucial component of the Police Service. The Committee noted that there is need for total refurbishment of recreational facilities in order to resuscitate sporting activities for members to keep fit and mentally alert.
5.13 Security/Perimeter Fencing
While the ZRP is a public place, security fencing is essential. Several ZRP premises were not properly fenced or protected from intruders. During public demonstrations associated with violence, ZRP premises are usually targeted by hooligans. A case in point is that of Gweru Central Police which was vandalized by unruly members of the public in 2018. The same situation prevailed in areas such as Inyathi and Gwanda which are infested by illegal gold miners and machete wielding gangsters who, of late, had been allegedly attacking police officers on duty.
Lately, the Committee was indeed disturbed to note that some communities were teaming up against ZRP officers demanding the release of arrested criminals residing in the affected areas. This has made it very difficult for effective policing in such places due to lack of human and material resources for the security arm of the country.
5.14 ZRP Unfinished Projects
The Committee witnessed several stalled construction projects across the country, mainly due to lack of funding. The most noticeable ones were the Bulawayo Southern Region Workshop, ZRP Dotito Main Camp in Mashonaland Central, ZRP Marondera Block and ZRP Masasa in Mashonaland East. These projects were residential and administration blocks and works were halted for more than a decade. It was noted that most of the building projects were somewhat in their finishing stages and with an injection of enough financial resources, they could easily be brought to completion. The ZRP as an institution has a complete construction unit with very competent personnel to do the work only if they were capacitated with enough materials. The completion of these projects would bring relief to the pressure on accommodation and office space in various places and hence improving working and living standards of officers.
6.0 KEY OBSERVATIONS
6.1 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.
6.2 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.
6.3 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.
6.4 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.
6.5 The Committee observed that the ZRP has competent
personnel in the construction unit requiring capacitation in terms of construction materials and requisite tools of trade. The organisation can utilize their expertise to build both residential and administration structures, thereby cutting costs incurred on hired labour.
6.6 Poor remuneration and lack of incentives have the potential
of fuelling collusion and corruption amongst members of the Police Service, especially along the country’s borderline thereby affecting service delivery and compromising the security of the nation.
6.7 The use of personal communication devices and computers in policing seriously compromises the security of information and should be discouraged at all costs.
6.8 The absence of an integrated communication system that
promotes intra-station, inter-station, intra-district and inter-district, intra and inter-provincial linkages has far reaching implications on effective policing and service delivery. A switch to the use of contemporary and robust communication devices and strategies that are in tandem with global policing trends should be prioritised by the relevant Ministry if improvements on service delivery are to be realised.
6.9 The public has lost confidence in the service delivery of the ZRP due to increasing cases of indiscipline especially among junior staff officers within and outside the working environment. The Committee noted that massive capacity building and training of officers on both policing skills and public relations issues should be prioritized if the security organ is to retain its erstwhile reputation of excellence.
7.1 It is recommended that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should allocate adequate financial resources to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural for:
- recruitment of personnel to match new developments since the population is ever growing.
- the development of infrastructure to match current and projected manpower levels in the Zimbabwe Republic Police so as to improve service delivery and bolster public confidence by July 2022;
- the purchase of office equipment and furniture, tools of trade and consumables to create a comfortable and conducive working environment for members by April 2022;
- the electrification of all stations and posts to enable effective use of office equipment as well as for domestic purposes by June 2022;
- for the purchase of adequate operational vehicles (including boats, motorcycles and bicycles) for all the provinces by May 2022 to enable crime scenes to be attended to promptly and investigations to be expedited.
- adequate fuel supplies, oils and lubricants as well as motor spares and maintenance kits by March 2022;
- for operational needs such as cycle allowance, travelling and subsistence allowance, clothing allowance for officers in plain clothes, hardship allowance, living-out allowance, rations and uniforms by March 2022;
- to cater for the welfare of detained suspects in respect of food, linen, water and sanitation among others by February 2022;
- The Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage should engage the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development for the provision of State land for construction of standard institutional accommodation by June 2022;
- The Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage should roll-out a massive capacity building and skills training programme on modern policing strategies, use of contemporary policing equipment and public relations by June 2022.
- The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should immediately authorize the use of retention funds by ZRP and safeguards must be instituted to guard against the abuse of these retention funds.
The challenges bedevilling the ZRP are many and yet they cannot just be ignored. Effective service delivery has been impeded. The morale of members of the Police Service has sharply decreased. Public confidence in the Police Service is critical for peace and order to prevail in the country. Being the face of the nation, the department needs to be adequately resourced. In its realisation of the National Vision 2030 goals of smart governance and upholding the rule of law, the Government should prioritise access and usage of ICTs by the ZRP as this will effectively bolster efforts in effective policing. The Committee implores Central Government through Treasury to urgently and seriously consider addressing the resource gaps existing in ZRP. So, I submit Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much Hon. Mayihlome for a very comprehensive report.
HON. NGULUVHE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I just want to add a few remarks. As you indicated, the report is very detailed and to the point. Mr. Speaker Sir, if we are to achieve Vision 2030 as a nation, we have to understand and appreciate that for any development to take place in the country, there is need for peace and tranquility. That peace can only be achieved by adequately facilitating the security forces, in this case, the police. If we are to fight corruption effectively, we also have to capacitate the police.
Mr. Speaker Sir, as indicated in the report, I will just highlight on a few points; the issue of accommodation, especially at the border posts like Victoria Falls and Beitbridge. The officers there stay in rented houses and they are paid in local currency, RTGS and they are expected to pay rentals in Rands, especially at Beitbridge. Most of the time, these officers cannot afford to pay those rentals, compromising their duties as they will be staying in private houses, some of which accommodate people they are supposed to be policing. I think as a nation, we should consider where these people are accommodated.
We also have to appreciate that, unlike in countries like South Africa where the police force – I know that the police in South Africa are allowed to join trade unions which can participate in strikes, unfortunately in our country, our security forces cannot join trade unions, otherwise we are going to notice some chaos in the country.
However, as a nation, I would like to appeal that we give the police officers what is due to them. I am saying this in terms of their travel and subsistence allowances; it is their constitutional right to be given that when they are on duty. Mr. Speaker Sir, imagine that you work for over 10 years and you are not given your travel and subsistence allowances, you are retired and it is over $10 000, then you decide to take the Government to court. It is our right. Can this Government afford to pay those people?
My appeal is that, as a Government, let us give them their travel and subsistence (T and S) allowances as they are working outside their stations. Mr. Speaker Sir, the issue of T & S especially at border posts like Kariba, Beitbridge or even Plumtree – we deploy our officers without T & S. They are supposed to be patrolling the borders. Mr. X comes in trying to smuggle goods worth one million and is served by our officers who have not been given T & S, Mr. X just gives them R100 thousand to share among themselves. We cannot fight corruption in such situations. My appeal is that as a State, let us try and adequately give our officers what is due to them.
In conclusion Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to pay tribute to our police force that besides all these hardships, we still see most of them carrying out their duties although my research and analysis, I stand to wonder why recently, most of the armed robberies which were taking place were being carried out by our security forces, be it the police, the army and the President’s Department. Mostly, they were using things like AKs or big rifles. It is because we are not adequately providing for these security forces. It is an issue and as a Committee, I think we should take note of that. We do not get to a situation of Congo during Mobutu Sese Seko where the security forces were paying themselves from the looting which they were doing when they were on deployment. I want to appeal to this House and Government to adequately pay and look after our police forces. I thank you.
HON. T. MOYO: Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to add my voice to the motion raised by Hon. Mayihlome, seconded by Hon. Nguluvhe. Mr. Speaker Sir, members of the police force face a multiplicity of challenges. The challenges should be addressed through injection of a lot of funding from the Ministry of Finance to the Ministry of Home Affairs. Those problems are inter alia, the issue of vehicles, accommodation, food shortages especially for the detained persons, short supply of PPEs, challenges of water and sanitation among others. Mr. Speaker Sir, it is important to note that vehicles indeed are in short supply in the Ministry of Home Affairs. I will give examples of police stations in the rural areas where I come from, especially in Gokwe North.
Gokwe North has four constituencies and at the moment, they do not have a single vehicle for effective patrol to take place. It is important to note that they need new vehicles which should come from the Ministry of Finance. I have to acknowledge that there was a vehicle which was bought for Gokwe North in 2017 but because of the nature of our roads and also maximum use of the vehicle, it broke down. There is need for new state of the art 4 x 4 vehicles which should be bought for the police officers so that they can effectively patrol the areas in Gokwe North. Gokwe North is quite big and stretches from Sanyati River right up to the border with Binga under Chief Nenyunga. So for any effective policing to happen, there is need for capacitation of the Home Affairs Department.
It is sad that some police officers do not stay in decent houses. What they consider as their houses are wooden buildings roofed using zinc and they are not good for decent accommodation.. It is our hope that in the 2022 budget, the Home Affairs department is going to receive some financial injections so that they are able to construct decent accommodation. I also want to believe that the same hand that was extended to teachers where the Government will prioritise accommodation for teachers, the same will also happen to all civil servants including Ministry of Home Affairs. There is need for Government to construct flats in urban areas and also descent accommodation in rural areas.
It should also be noted that some of the challenges include the issue of water and sanitation. Most of the police stations, according to the report, do not have running water or if there is running water, it does not flow regularly. So there is also need to prioritise the establishment or drilling of new boreholes so that police officers would have running water.
I want to talk about professionalism and capacity development. It is important to note that most of the police officers are not doing in-service training. As a result, their methods of policing as far as I am concerned to some extent, are not progressing well. So there is need to have new colleges and also to give some extra remedial studies to police officers so that they can resort to new forms of policing in line with the 21st century.
The issue of corruption is another cancer amongst police officers. A number of police officers are corrupt, especially those who mann our roads maybe because they have a tendency of not appreciating what they are given as remuneration. We also want to encourage the Government to prioritise and increase salaries and wages for police officers so that whoever decides to steal and be involved in corrupt deals, the law will take its course.
Without wasting much of our time, the issue of recreational facilities is very important. What we find in police stations are very small officers’ mess that provide soft drinks but in terms of availability of tennis courts, football grounds and so forth, these need attention. It is important to recommend that the Ministry of Home Affairs require a lot of funding from the Ministry of Finance so that their challenges may be addressed. I thank you Madam Speaker Maam.
HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker Maam, I would like to appreciate the motion moved by Hon. Rtd. Brig. Gen. Mayihlome, seconded Hon. Nguluvhe. It goes without saying that poor planning leads to bad governance. Most of the infrastructure that we see in the police is as a result of our independence and benefiting to the Rhodesian assets. The police have not done a lot besides building the ZRP school in terms of ensuring that the police staff is well accommodated, resourced and taken care of.
When you grow in numbers, it is not a secret that you must also be able to build infrastructure that augments the numbers. Since 1980 when we took over (technical glitch) it is a job which is of a security nature and should be appreciated. While they serve the country, they also have got to be protected. No wonder why we see as Members of Parliament - we have finally built a Parliament which accommodates the numbers. During the Rhodesian time, Parliament had a few Members of Parliament but because of the population growth, there are more constituencies and as a result, we have to be in sync with that. That requires proper planning at the end of the day.
We did well in terms of the schools programme in the country. The infrastructure since 1980 augmented the population. Hospitals and schools were built. We have never complained that much on schools infrastructure and hospitals as much as we are complaining about housing facilities for the police and other civil servants. What has gone wrong? The security sector in the country has been preserved and hampered in many ways and is being given what they want because it is important as Hon. Nguluvhe has said; there must be peace and tranquillity. There must be law and order for us to be a prosperous nation. That has been priority for the First and Second Republic to the point where they were given resources in the likes of diamond mines. They were given arms to augment their efforts to be able to complement the budget.
It is many institutions that are favoured with that. We know that your own Parliament is facing difficulties in remunerating its Members of Parliament and staff but we do not have a farm or diamond mine. Others are given that and they still complain that they are not getting enough. The question is: where are these resources and where is the accountability for all these resources – the mines and farms that they are running? Who is bringing the accountability and the transparency that is needed? We are never told how much money they are making or where the money goes to.
As Parliament, we cannot keep on supporting them to have a budget when they are not able to come before Parliament and say from the diamond mine we have, we are making so much money which actually saves Treasury from giving them more money and that money goes to other State entities which require money. I am talking about looting, plundering and corruption by senior officers in the police. I was the Chairman for the Mines and Energy Portfolio Committee when we did an inquiry on diamond – the famous 15 billion which went missing in the diamond sector. The police were a beneficiary but could not account where the diamond were. All they could do was to blame the former Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri. But how can you say that he ran the system on his own? Other senior officers in that inquiry started to say, we cannot blame him because he had a Deputy Commissioner General in charge of Administration which is the current Commissioner General of Police, Commissioner General Matanga who was in charge of administration.
The question is - there is nothing that can happen without a signature from the head of administration in the police. It goes down to the question of where we are in terms of accountability of these resources. We also want accountability in terms of the resources which have been given to the police by the Government of Zimbabwe so that they are able to discharge their duties. Without that, it becomes difficult even for the corporate world to give them anything. The corporate world as well supports the police and many other people but they have not been forthcoming.
In terms of accommodation, Hon. Mayihlome is aware of the 900 stands which the junior police officers paid for near the ZRP school and I am a bit confused why it was not brought up. These junior officers raised their money and paid for those stands. Those stands are not there and the allegation is that the senior officers and the current Commissioner General of the Police are involved in the misappropriation of those funds. The question is, where are those 900 stands for the junior police officers? That is a big issue that Hon. Mayihlome and his Committee needs to look into because a lot of them have been complaining saying that they paid in US dollars but do not have the 900 stands that they paid for from their own salaries.
How can we trust the police which cannot even provide accommodation for police officers who paid their money? We cannot blame the Treasury by allocating funds to an institution which cannot account. There are many issues. They misplaced priority and there is misappropriation of funds. There is abuse of office. The ZRP officers are driving great cars yet the police station has no resources. Come on Madam Speaker, let us speak the truth. If the country is going through an economic situation, we have to adjust. Even in our own homes when we grew up, when things were tough and parents needed to pay school fees, we would not be having meat everyday but resort to vegetables and sour milk so that we would be able to deal with challenges ahead. We cannot keep on splashing Mercedes Benzes when the police stations have no cars. That is misplaced priority and abuse of funds which must be investigated if it is worth for them driving those cars.
Not only that - these cars are not even assembled in Zimbabwe, which means that our own industry from a cars perspective, the Willowvale Motor Industry, cannot even grow because you want Government funds to go to Government entities so that they grow at the end of the day and our economy grows.
I go back to ZIM-ASSET, which said whatever we do as Zimbabweans, we should do it amongst ourselves and empower each other. We do not hate anybody because of the resources and human capital we have. Unfortunately, we jumped too many blue-print documents without reviewing the other. There was nothing wrong with ZIM-ASSET. To me, if the police work with other Government organisations in making sure that uniforms and equipment for the police are given, it is different.
Does the Committee know that they are under investigations by PRAZ as tender procedures have not been followed? Cars have been sold and tenders given to people who certainly have put up figures which are unaffordable. So, we now have a situation where a budget is given for so many cars because of inflated prices which are a result of corruption (chiwoko muhomwe), where 10% inofanira kubuda pamota idzo and so forth. There is an investigation which is going on. There is also an investigation in which they were given money to buy equipment. They chose to pay more than less.
The police must be exemplary in discharge of duties because they are the ones who maintain law and order, and pursue crime. So, if they seem to be corrupt, who will police the police? We need a police which has credibility and clear about its mandate in serving people and being an institution of the country. Not only that, the police itself must be an institution of the country not an institution belonging to a person or political party. The police have been policed aside, and in being policed aside, it becomes very difficult for them to get any support from anybody.
The junior officers are not to blame. They are the grass that is suffering from the fight of the elephants and I picked it because they serve diligently. You see their uniforms when they work. These uniforms have got patches (zvigamba in Shona). Vanongonama mauniforms nezvigamba. So, you are saying to yourself integrity of the police is dignity which is totally taken away because they cannot do their work as they suffer from inferiority complex. We have tailors and companies in Zimbabwe which can make good uniforms but they choose not to pick these but pick foreign companies which are flawed in terms of business, yet our companies are not doing that.
Madam Speaker, it is on record that I have donated to the police a BMW 5 series, original engine and a Toyota for them to do their duties. I have donated food hampers to the police. Through the CDF, I have built two police posts; one in Knowe and the other in Govans; one in Ward 1 and one in Ward 4 to support the police. The CDF money which is given to us, I have put it to the police but the police played politics. When it comes to food hampers, they receive but when it comes to bicycles and cars, they do not.
Madam Speaker, there was a fire, to talk about the need for accommodation at the Norton Police Station. There were these wooden houses which belonged to a Chinese company which was doing roads and they left them there and the police took over. There was a fire which destroyed a lot of properties. I was the first to arrive and help because I realised that as a legislator, I must help a good cause because this is an institution with people but they then politicised. Why, if they are handicapped, would they refuse a BMW, which is clear high speed chase, a Toyota, 15-bicycles, baton sticks and so on?
The police really do not need support because they are saying no to what we are giving them. They think they are capable of doing their own things and so, I am a bit surprised with this report that the police are hamstrung yet they are refusing donations and they pick the ones they want. When it is food and hampers, they receive but when it is fuel, they refuse. When it is cash, they receive but when it is a car, they do not receive yet the crime in Norton is high...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, you are left with five minutes.
(v)HON. T. MLISWA: To me, there is the aspect of them, if they are serious, coming with a business approach. Yes, we might not like the former Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri but one thing that he did, he tried to do as much as he could to ensure that the police were visible in terms of education, being professional and discharging their duties. Hongu izvi neizvi zvinouya but there was that effort. In Norton, they can also get into joint ventures with reputable companies in terms of housing. Let them go to NSSA, NBS and get money because civil servants by their own nature, are ready to pay for that and that is the only way they can retain value from this inflationary environment by being given brick and mortar which is a good investment.
The Government has land and they can be given State land. All they need is a good contractor with great repute; housing - UDICORP is there and you have Hon. Garwe now who is the Minister of Housing, who is passionate and understands it. Why are they not engaging UDICORP on State land so that they are given some portions of land and are able to build and all that?
Madam Speaker, it is important that the cells themselves and a cell is like a church – kusungwa ndekwemunhu wese. Munogona kuti Mliswa asungwa nhasi mangwana ndiani. Ndeuyu neuyu zvamunoziva saka may the cells also be up to scratch because these are the cells which have been there since the Rhodesian times. If you go to Mbare, as for me I have been to almost all the notorious police stations, Mbare Matapi, Kuwadzana and if I ever wanted a position, I would have wanted to be the Minister of Home Affairs because I have been arrested enough and have been in too many cells. So, I would have known what needs to be done but that is on a lighter note but more importantly, there needs to be of humaine nature. They need to be decent and they are not decent.
In terms of corruption, we need to assist because it is a disease and like you said, once the head starts to rot, the whole fish is rotten. So, the Police Command at high level, need to be disciplined and be an institution which is not politicised, which conforms to the laws and Constitution of this country. The Commissioner-General must be professional and if he is professional, then companies will come in and assist in every way possible. Law and order is important. They have gotten rid of too many senior officers because of politics and so forth, yet it becomes difficult to find experienced officers in the security sector; be it in the CIO, army and the police because mdara vanoziva.
If their time and age has to be extended, so be it because there is nothing that beats experience. You have officers like Nyakutsikwa, Madambi and so on, who were experienced but because of the politics and the in-house fighting, the police are no longer respected. We need to have people doing things properly. We want to support an institution...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Your time is up Hon. Mliswa.
(v)HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Madam Speaker for the opportunity. I thank you.
HON. NDEBELE: On a point of order. My point of order arises from something I picked from Hon. Mliswa’s debate that I feel should not be swept under the carpet. I would like to move that the Commissioner-General appears before Hon. Brig. Gen (Rtd) Mayihlome’s Committee to answer why he pleads poverty on the one hand while on the other, he declines donations from Hon. Mliswa. I think if we are a serious Legislature, we need answers to that question. If it is policy, we are the Parliament that has that power to alter such a policy that prevents our police from receiving vehicles and bicycles from legislators. Otherwise, if we let it go, then our police force is playing politics. I would like to move that the Commissioner-General appears before Brig.Gen. Rtd. Mayihlome’s Committee to answer to those questions, and many others that will arise. Thank you Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Member. I am sure the Portfolio Committee Chairperson, Hon. Mayihlome has taken note of that. Thank you.
*HON. CHIKUKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I would like to contribute to this motion which was raised by Hon. Mayihlome, seconded by Hon. Nguluvhe. As a woman, this is an issue which affects me.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you are not connected.
*HON. CHIKUKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I would like to contribute to this motion which was moved by Hon. Mayihlome, seconded by Hon. Nguluvhe. As a woman, this is a very emotional issue which pertains to the conduct of our police force. I noted that there are some areas where they do not have proper ablution facilities. In some areas, the toilets are sub-standard and some are using bushes. This is quite surprising because Zimbabwe is a very good country with good facilities. You do not expect to find such challenges in Zimbabwe. This makes me believe that Government should look for money which will be given to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Defence.
I also noted that there is no transport for police officers. I will start by looking at transport which takes them to work. At one point, I felt pained. I live in Harare and you find a police officer seated in an open truck. This is the same police officer that we expect to be respected and dignified. Imagine if a motorist carries such a police officer and the vehicle is not roadworthy. The police officer cannot even raise such issues of roadworthiness, so they are forced to compromise and they cannot tell a motorist that their cars are not in good condition. This increased during the COVID era. Of course the pandemic wrecked havoc. When people were on lockdown, most police officers were going to work.
As women, sometimes we argue that women are being abused because there is no proper transport. Sometimes they are forced to hitch-hike. This is not safe for them and it takes away the dignity of police officers. You find that when they arrive at work, they find that they do not have tools of trade like vehicles, bicycles and other logistical things. This is quite worrying. You end up wondering how they are going to do their jobs without tools of trade. In many instances, the public condemns them that they are not working. On the same note, this cannot be avoided. Sometimes we find reports that there has been theft in the neighbourhood. The police might want to come but they will tell you that they do not have transport. So, those who have vehicles are the only ones who will be able to attend crime scenes. Even when there are issues of violence or conflict between two people, you will find that someone might offer the police officers transport, so the officers will not tell the person that they are at fault.
There are some people we can refer to as dangerous criminals, who are dangerous even to police officers. Policemen sometimes do not own houses and they might be renting properties that are owned by dangerous criminals. For the police officer to report at his workplace that I am renting at such and such place, they cannot do that because they risk being fired.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Do they fear for their job or accommodation?
*HON. CHIKUKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I was trying to clarify that where the police officer stays might not be safe and the officer might not be comfortable reporting for the fear of being evicted. This compromises their jobs. Also, when a police officer is living in a community renting, they will not be treated with the dignity they deserve. My point is that, police officers deserve to be given accommodation in police camps so that they and their families are not ambushed or kidnapped by dangerous criminals.
We also heard about the issue of uniforms. At the moment, everyone is afraid of COVID but you find police officers manning road blocks without proper PPEs. I would like to implore responsible authorities to provide PPEs so that police officers are protected. Those who mann roadblocks in rural areas do not have ablution facilities and food. My plea is that they should be given food.
*HON. PETER MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker. Let me first commend you, you are very smart Madam Speaker. I would like to contribute to the motion which was moved by Hon. Mayihlome and seconded by Hon. Nguluvhe. This is quite good and I believe that everything that has been said is true. Madam Speaker, when you go to Mberengwa, the whole of Mberengwa - all the four constituencies, you will discover that there is no car, there is no Dispol. The only Dispol that is available is in Zvishavane. The whole of the Midlands has one car. The other car which was allocated to the province is not in good condition. It cannot be used in bad roads. This is a car that was donated by Mimosa and this car cannot service the whole area. Right now, the car is being serviced. After being serviced, it clocks 5 000 km within a week.
There is a police base which does not have proper accommodation. You find police officers living in a deep tank. This is a makeshift police station, a deep tank in an independent Zimbabwe. This is pathetic Madam Speaker, when we have a young and versatile Minister. When you go even on Christmas day in Mberengwa West to be precise, you would find that on Christmas day there is a lot of crime. Some people are stabbed; some are murdered because there are no police officers. When you report a case today, you would find that police officers would come after two months.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: On a point of order. Hon. Member, may you stick to the motion please. Do not digress. Do not refer to some personal issues like the attributes of a Minister.
*HON. PETER MOYO: That is true. He is energetic, yes, he is hard working, so he must put effort and deliver. So looking at Mberengwa as a whole Madam Speaker, there are a lot of mines. We appreciate what Mimosa is doing. What are other mining companies doing? Are they able to pull resources and build a dignified police station? How about community ownership monies, devolution funds and other funds because there is no road rehabilitation, there is no progress? I had to fix a borehole using my personal money. I am not responsible for that constituency. I am not their MP because I know I cannot stand against ZANU PF. They will win, so I just did that because I wanted to help.
At one time Hon. Mliswa donated bicycles and motor vehicles to police officers. The Dispol refused to take them. Madam Speaker, the President mentioned that the only people who are able to build the country are the owners. If the President says that the owners of the country are there to develop, people should adhere to what His Excellency says. I noted that there is a challenge and I decided to help because we need to assist. So why is it that when an MDC MP does something, you will find people opposing that? The problem is that we love too much politics instead of the country.
Remember I am a Minister…
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, may you please clarify and stick to facts. Please mention that you are a shadow Minister.
*HON. PETER MOYO: No I am not a shadow Minister, Madam Speaker, I am a Minister. ZANU PF people say that I am an MP. No, I am not just that, but I am a Minister. So Madam Speaker, what I am saying is really painful. When you go and see what our police officers are putting on you will be really touched. They do not dress properly like Fawcett Security and Securico. These are national police officers who do not have proper uniforms. Why do you not go to companies and approach them so that taxes are allocated to the police uniforms?
Police officers no longer drink clear beer but they are forced to drink opaque beer in an independent Zimbabwe. These issues that we are talking about Madam Speaker, should be taken seriously. It must not be a talk show when we talk about things that are so useful. It is really painful that police officers do not have basics. When you go to Msasa, you will discover that police officers use the bush as their toilets. What are we doing?
When you go to where they man roadblocks, all police officers use the bushes whether it is male or female police officers, but when we look at how smart people will be at ZANU PF rallies, they will be putting on even new beautiful wigs, but we fail to dress police officers who discharge their duties with fortitude. So Madam Speaker this is a very serious issue.
(v)HON. MUDARIKWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. We are talking about a motion. The Hon. Member is lost, he does not know what he is saying. He is now talking about people at a ZANU PF rally being well dressed. What has that to do with the motion? He must withdraw that. If he has nothing to say ,he must just sit down.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mudarikwa. Hon. Moyo, please stick to the motion.
HON. PETER MOYO: I am sticking to the motion, it is just that I do not know what the Hon. Member has consumed or smoked. What is wrong with saying that ZANU PF is smart? Is it not smart? People are drinking some illicit brews out there.
HON. CHINOTIMBA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order Hon. Chinotimba?
(v)*HON. CHINOTIMBA: My point of order is that every political party has no police but police officers are under Government. Whether it is CCC or any other party, they do not own police officers but police officers are under the State. The words that were said by Hon. Moyo should be withdrawn because he cannot refer to ZANU PF because ZANU PF does not own police officers but they are Government police officers. Our party cards as ZANU PF are not taken to the police. Police are under the State and not under a political party. The Hon. Member should withdraw his words. He needs to know that the party does not have police officers.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Moyo, may you stick to the motion. You are not the only one who wants to debate. I want to give every Member a chance to debate, so please stick to the motion.
HON. PETER MOYO: Let me continue Madam Speaker. I mentioned a lot of crucial issues. For instance, infrastructure and logistics like vehicles and uniforms. The fourth thing is that companies in different localities like in Mberengwa, there are a lot of companies which can fund and support the police. Government is the only entity which provides for the police but companies in these areas should also contribute by pooling resources such as provision of cars. We passed the National Budget that there will be 500 cars that will be coming but only 200 came. Where are the rest of the cars which are not found in Mberengwa and other areas?
As Members of Parliament, if we look for funding for police officers, then these should be accepted because a nation is built by its owners. If I decide to build a house for police officers in the rural areas, please allow me to do so. This is a painful issue regarding the welfare of police officers because they are given ZW$15 which is not enough to buy jiggies. When foreigners see the police officers uniforms’ and their shoes which are in a bad taste, sometimes people wonder whether it is the same police officer who is supposed to arrest people. So, we do not want our police officers to be desperate without the basic tools of trade, yet they are supposed to maintain order.
In Rugare in Southerton, you find that there will be one police officer and this is a high density area where the crime rate is high. So, I would like to thank you for the opportunity that you have given to me Madam Speaker.
(V)*HON. R.R.NYATHI: On a point of order. I would like to urge the Hon Member to withdraw the word Chinotimba. He is supposed to be addressed as Hon. Chinotimba.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Member. Point taken.
HON. MASANGO: First of all, I would like to applaud Hon. Mayihlome on his report, which was seconded by Hon. Nguluvhe. Looking at the issue of lack of stationery at police stations, I would like to bear witness to this. In my constituency, there are two police stations, that is Mhangura and Murereka.. The officers in charge of these two stations have been continuously appealing for stationery from my office and from other individuals. This does not augur well for our service providers. If they have a donation of stationery, let us say from someone who then commits a crime, are they going to arrest that person? No, they will not and we cry that the police are corrupt. Panoda kugadziriswa.
Then we come to the issue of uniforms, I do not know if we still have those tailors who were once employed by ZRP because if they are still there, can they be utilised to sew uniforms for the officers? Coming to the issue of service vehicles, and I will give an example of Mhangura Police Station. In 2018, I appealed for a vehicle for Mhangura ZRP and we got one but Murereka Police Station did not get any. This vehicle that we got is constantly at Chinhoyi Police Station for use there since they do not have enough vehicles. This leaves us as a constituency without any service vehicle. How then can these officers performs their duties? My appeal is to please provide all that is needed by this essential service provider for them to perform their duties well. I thank you.
HON. MUNETSI: Thank you very much Madam Speaker Ma’am, for giving me this chance to air my views about the police situation in the country. We can talk and talk but if the police are not given money nothing will come to fruition. They can do some roadblocks and all the money that the police get goes to Treasury. After that, they are allocated money by Treasury to buy stationery. I think there is need to decentralise such kind of things so that each district is allowed to use funds which it gets and also being assisted by Treasury. As long as money gets to Treasury, it goes to other departments which are not the police and it is used there. There is need for Treasury to give money to the police.
Let me highlight a few items that we may ask the Ministry of Home Affairs to consider. If you look at the houses where the police reside, it is either they are very old with disused toilets or the officer is renting somewhere. They may not be comfortable to stay in a house within the camp because it is dilapidated. The Ministry of National Housing needs to consider redoing those houses so that they come to standard. I do not want to repeat what Hon. Masango said about stationery. If they do not have stationery, you will see the police officers ending up using the backside of some other cases that were done before and were closed. It is not a healthy situation for an organisation like the Ministry of Home Affairs, big as it is. Those are some of the things that we need to quickly consider and look into.
In rural areas like where I come from in Makoni North Constituency, I have one police station, Mayo. They do not have a computer. One or two young officers who brought their laptops use their laptops for the whole station to type and print the dockets. If you look at how much a laptop or a computer costs and budget for all the stations in the country to have some, it is not much. Let us make life easy for our police officers in some of these stations and also, you should provide them with printers. Communication is very important. I do not know whether we still have land lines in rural areas.
In my area, all the copper wire was stripped off and now there is only use of cell phones. Do they have cell phones for the station? Nothing, but they all use their phones. Are we saying that we cannot afford to buy a cell phone for the station for an organisation like the Ministry of Home Affairs? These are simple things that we also need to consider. If ever they have a vehicle, it is unfortunate that they do not get fuel. We are lucky to have one tobacco company in the area which is called Voedsel which donated a motorbike for Mayo Police Station for use around the area. The bike is there but they cannot get fuel to put in the bike. If they go to Rusape, there is nothing. We wonder why and what is happening. If there is a murder case, you wait for the truck from DHQ. If it has gone somewhere else, you wait until it comes back or you use your vehicle to take the body to the mortuary. It is a very sad situation which we need to look into urgently.
I do not want to talk about T and S because it is no longer there. If ever it is there, it is peanuts. On security fence for most of our police stations, young boys from the surrounding areas will just come with their herd of cattle and put in the fence because it is torn and tattered all over with no repairs and it is like there is nothing. Why have we gone so low to such an extent that we cannot even repair some security fence to secure a police camp?
Let me just say something about uniforms. If the ordinance where the police officers cannot get uniforms is not able to cope up with the number of police officers that we have, I think it is wise to find some private company that can make uniforms for the police and you put a fee and you probably take the uniform from ordinance and it is disbursed from there because at the moment, if some police officers come across some piece of cloth which is similar to their uniform, they are having their uniforms made with some tailors somewhere and they just go like that.
Police officers do their job and that is why prisons are full. It is because they do their job but they are now led behind because of some hindrances that are caused by us. We overlook some of those things. I do not think in my area and areas around, there is no base that I have seen which was constructed by the Ministry of Home Affairs. It is either they go to a clinic or to a school to borrow a room from the teacher’s house or something like that. Small as it may be, two rooms with ten sheets, 300 bricks, six bags of cement, a door, key and the base is there, we cannot do that. We need to wake up somehow. Thank you.
(v)HON. I. NYONI: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I would like to add my voice on this very important report presented by Hon. Bridg. Gen. Rtd. Mayihlome, seconded by Hon. Nguluvhe. The challenges facing ZRP countrywide are demotivating to all ZRP staff. The challenges were well articulated by the Committee and it is clear that as a result of the state of infrastructure, lack of equipment, transport inadequacy and other issues highlighted by the Committee Report, the police are demotivated and this leads to police performing below par. The shortage of transport in particular, has become too pronounced in both urban and rural areas for ZRP to do their duties effectively. I have seen instances when there is a case to be attended to by police officers, there is no police vehicle and they will end up requesting for transport from members of the public or jumping into the mushikashika to attend to the scene. The result is obviously attending to the scene late and this portrays police inefficiency, yet it is not a problem of their own making.
When they knock off from duty, they use these mushikashikas to go home. This makes it difficult for them to do their duties of bringing the mushikashikas to book. Police who want to stay in police accommodation, for example in my constituency at Queen’s Park - in Bulawayo East constituency, they also face same challenges as residents in that particular area in terms of water because of water rationing. You will sometimes see police and their families looking for water outside their place of residence from residents who have boreholes in their premises. It is important for those who live in these areas to have boreholes drilled so that in times like these they have access to this very important commodity.
In brief Madam Speaker, I totally agree with the recommendations of the Committee to capacitate our Zimbabwe Republic Police to improve efficiency of the police in that area. I thank you.
(v)HON. SHAVA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank Hon. Brig. Gen. (Rtd) Mayihlome for this motion. I just want to contribute a few ideas with regard to the welfare of police officers. My contribution is that police officers must be well catered for. I would want to thank His Excellency the President for availing buses for use by the police in the execution of their duties. My issue is on the welfare of the police officers, especially those deployed in dangerous areas where people use machetes as weapons.
Another problem is that after committing a serious crime, someone is taken to the courts and they are released dubiously when they would have committed serious offences and when released they start chasing the police officers who were handling their cases. We must provide a conducive environment for our police officers. Those who chase after police officers must be incarcerated; we should have stiffer penalties for this. Let us know that police officers live in the same communities with the citizens and that exposes them to a lot of problems. I thank you.
*HON. SEWERA: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this motion that was brought to this House by Hon. Brig. Gen. (Rtd) Mayihlome. I am very happy to see that most of the Hon. Members are supporting this motion, that we should advocate for better welfare of our police officers. I was once a policeman Madam Speaker. In Murewa West, there are things that we observe in that area; we have Musami Police Post. As we speak, anyone who works for the police especially the junior officers or the sergeants are not respected in rural areas.
Anywhere where they are, they are always begging for food even in bottle stores or grocery shops. That has led to corruption amongst police and they are easily bought out. Criminals find it easy to bribe police officers. Police officers are traveling long distances using their own means coming back from that long distance; they even pay for transport of the criminal. They do not even know of the danger of the place they are visiting to apprehend the criminal. They do not even have transport. This is not good for police officers to travel long distances to apprehend a criminal; they should be protected.
Madam Speaker, I think you have observed this on highways. Some police officers travel from Mabvuku to Marondera because they have nowhere to stay, they pay for transport using their own money and this demoralizes them and they fail to execute their duties in such an environment.
The issue of travelling and subsistence allowances has been referred to before and I want to reiterate it. Our police officers are in two departments; there is the Support Unit, when they are assigned duties at the border posts, they end up using their own personal cash to buy food because they will not be having food or money to use for food. This results in corruption. If a police officer sees a person trying to cross with illegal bales of clothes at the border, he/she will allow that smuggler to pass through and get a bribery for personal use.
Madam Speaker, if we try to trap police officers at road blocks, they will all be fired from work because their livelihood is not good. As alluded to by Hon. Members here, police officers should be well taken care of. There is also something scary on the way these officers are living; the police camps are not well protected, they are not fenced and if criminals come up with a plan to attack the camp, they might deceive them pretending to be herding cattle whilst spying on how they can enter and attack. You might end up hearing that a police camp has been attacked and guns taken away. Police officers are human too and they also need protection so that their working environment is well protected through fencing. There is also the problem of shortage of potable water. We visited Dotito area and if you were to visit that place Madam Speaker, you would not be happy. It is only good that police officers are disciplined and they do not get involved in strikes. They might end up involving themselves in corruption and all sorts of rowdy behaviour. We are hearing that some of them end up quitting their work because of poor working conditions. I just wanted to add my voice to the motion. Thank you for giving me this opportunity Madam Speaker.
(v)*HON. MUDARIKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this motion. I would like to thank our Committee for this report which was seconded by Hon. Nguluvhe. This Committee should come up with a workshop so that maybe Hon. Members can go to Kariba as Parliament and come up with a budget, come back here for a supplementary budget to support our police officers so that their working conditions can be improved. We are holding the steering wheel and we should be able to drive so that our work can move on smoothly.
On the same note, we have a huge issue which has been alluded to by various speakers. It has been noted that we have police stations which are in the most remote areas, which were neglected by colonisers as less important stations like Makosa, Matebeleland North and Dotito areas. As Government, let us start building police stations in such areas. Where I come from in Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe (UMP), the police officers camp is made up of wooden cabins where you can see rats moving in and out. We should build these police stations well.
The other issue is that the police officers’ remuneration should be revisited but this can be done through a workshop which I proposed. We should then benchmark their remuneration to that which prevails with their counterparts in the region. It has been said that our police officers at the border posts get to meet those from other countries like South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia and others. If the remuneration is benchmarked, we can adjust so that our own police officers can get a better salary.
I also propose that the Police Act be amended so that we can come up with the Police Advisory Board which is given powers to engage the Minister on the problems faced by the police force. In the Ministry of Health and Child Care, we have what are called Village Health Workers who are paid; in the police force, we have those called Police Constables who are being nicknamed ‘ndini ndamubata,’ they are not paid anything. That is where the problem is, where the one giving health services is getting paid whilst the one maintaining law and order is not being paid.
Madam Speaker, when we were growing up, we knew that police travel in Land Rovers. All these other cars which are being purchased today cannot travel through the rural areas’ terrain. The Government should try to purchase Land Rovers without going to tender, a negotiated tender where the police force is equipped with Land Rover vehicles which can be used well in rural areas.
Madam Speaker, our children in the police force are joining the force at 20 years of age and after 20 years of service, the law states that they can retire from the force. The child is retired at 42 years but will wait until at 55 years for him/her to get pension from the National Social Security Authority (NSSA). I think the NSSA Act should be amended so that when a police officer retires after 20 years of service, they should be given their pension and not wait to attain 55 years of age. Some will not reach that age as they die earlier than that.
We have Government departments which issue loans; they should help so that police officers also get housing loans so that they build their own houses where they can reside after retirement from the service. I come from Mutawatawa where there is a lot of gold panning. Rentals in that area are paid in United States Dollars. So if our police officers are paid in local currency, for them to be able to pay rentals, it is very difficult.
Our electricity generation in the country is not stable, so I propose that every police station be installed with solar panels. During the refurbishment and construction of police stations across the country, solar panels should be connected so that police officers will not face the problem of persistent power cuts. We have police officers who are also computer programmers; I propose that every year, each police station be provided with a laptop and a mobile phone, specifically for that station. This is to avoid a situation where police officers use their own mobile phones and it becomes difficult to make follow-ups on pending cases. This should be basic equipment found at every police station.
The other issue is that our police officers carry huge responsibilities and instead of allowances, they should be well remunerated. The issue of donating vehicles to police is not good, God blesses the hands that give and not those that receive. We want our police officers to be blessed by God; they should have their own vehicles so that they help ferry people wherever their services are required, like to accident scenes and death cases.
The other issue is that we should increase police colleges in all provinces so that our police officers can upgrade themselves. We only have two training colleges for police officers. We need police universities in all provinces. Also, in the police syllabus there should be inclusion of sign language. This is critical because if there is a client who needs help in sign language how is he/she going to be assisted when the police officers do not know sign language? Police officers should be trained in language so that they are able to assist every citizen.
There is also the issue of CCTVs. There are black spots for accidents and crime scenes, police should install CCTVs at those spots so that they can rewind the CCTV when there is an accident or incident at that place. We applaud the Committee for the great job that they are doing. I would also want to thank the police for the work they are doing despite the hardships and challenges they are facing. Police uniforms should be available whenever the police officers need them. They should also have access to easy and reliable transport for their work. Motorcycles are now going for $100, $900 or $800 each. Tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, the Ministry of Home Affairs should place an order so that every police station has got five motor- cycles for patrols. We want to thank them because there is peace in our country because they are combating crime.
There is a police Dogs Section in Mabelreign and these should be found at every police station because they help in tracing criminals. These are part of the tools of trade for police officers. I am suggesting that whenever there are foreign missions, Government should also include junior police officers so that they have exposure and learn from other countries how they also work. We can blame some officers but let us look at the issue of police officers at it is.
We are faced with the issue of drug abuse as a nation. Our children are now drug addicts. They are taking in musombodhiya. We should have a separate police unit to deal with these issues of how we can stop the issue of musombodhiya. Who are those people preparing it and who are those selling it? If we do not control this our country will lose its dignity as a nation. It will become a nation of drunkards, drunkards who will not be able to bear children. This will be evidenced by census reading where people will become fewer and fewer which is against the Bible. The Bible says go and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.
There is an issue of Police Chaplains. They should be found at all police stations and even at police posts preaching the word of God because there is a lot of evil doing in the country. I would like to thank all those who have contributed to this motion. There are those who were out of order but whipped to order. It is human to err but we should applaud the work that the police are doing for the nation from the Constable to the Commissioner General. They are ensuring there is peace in the country and people can move freely any time. We should not keep our grudges and bring them to Parliament. Parliament is an august House and we should do what we were elected for. I thank you Madam Speaker.
(v)*HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Madam Speaker for the opportunity you have given me to add my voice to the motion that was presented by Hon. Rtd. Gen. Mayihlome and his Committee. I would like to thank the police for intervening and arresting the alleged perpetrators of violence at Kwekwe. They should continue doing that every time there is violence like what happened in Kwekwe. It is sad to hear that in this era of 2022 we still have police officers staying in wooden cabins. If we look at Warren Park, the constituency I represent, the biggest police station in Warren Park, most police officers are staying in those wooden cabins. They are dilapidated and I am appealing to the Minister of Home Affairs to work together with other Ministries like Local Government and Ministry of National Housing and construct blocks of flats for police officers at every place where police officers stay.
I am also in support of what other Hon. Members have said that we should look at the number of people a police station is serving. For example, Warren Park, where I come from there is a population of more than 87 thousand being served by only two police stations, the one at Milton Park and the one at Warren Park. Warren Park D has no police post at all. This includes Westlea up to Cold Comfort. There are no police posts.
The other thing that should be looked carefully into is the roadblocks. Police will be standing where there are no ablution facilities at the road blocks. The Ministry of oHoHo JJJJJJJJJAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaakkkkkkkskfkkdkkdk Home Affairs should consider having more or less check points like in neighbouring points where we find roadblocks. These should be provided with ablution facilities for use by police officers during their work. When driving along the road, it is not a good thing to see a police officer relieving themselves in a bush. That is not a good thing. Whilst we say the police stations should be increased, such stations should also be considered where people can also seek assistance at such stations in case of accidents also. Let us also consider modern technology such as Whatsapp. Let us encourage all police stations to have Whatsapp platforms whereby people can easily report cases using that platform and police can attend to that as quickly as possible. Some parastatals like ZESA have these and you can easily communicate with them. That can be very helpful. I implore that such things be considered.
Let us also put into consideration low ranking officers. Even though the country is facing economic challenges, these should be offered better working conditions so that they deliver their duties properly with adequate working facilities. I think that is very important. I would also want to refer to some things that I have come across. I have seen what some policewomen do. Some of the things cannot be said in this House. They should not be forced to encounter situations that may force them to engage in corruption. Are you aware that the policemen can actually steal from a victim who has been arrested by another policeman because they are bribed? Those are very sorry things that the policemen are engaging in because they lack that morality.
Let us also look into the transport situation. If we were to go out of this House right now, at the intersection of Samora Machel and Chinhoyi, you will realise that there will be policemen arresting pirate taxes. A few metres away, you will also see a number of policemen waiting for the same pirate taxes to use as transport. That is why it is important to have the police force providing transport for their staff so that they do not engage in shameful ways of travelling. The buses that are dedicated to the police force should be repaired. If they face challenges in repairing them, they should come to Parliament so that as Parliament, we will look into the issue or even speak to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to ensure that the funds are released for the repair of those buses. These issues degrade the image of our country.
This is a very important debate. At the end of the day, I hope you will be able to inform us on the resolutions. I would like to thank the people from my constituency who sometimes come to help the police in Milton Park and the neighbourhood who work with the police. What we encourage is that the police should be able to work independently.
There is also another issue whereby the police are not allowed to get help from outsiders. That should be considered because sometimes some companies may be foreign owned, for example tobacco companies work with police but locals may not be allowed. I thank you for the time you have given me.
(v)*HON. MADIWA: I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate on the motion raised by Hon. Brig. Gen. Rtd. Mayihlome, seconded by Hon. Nguluvhe.
Hon. Speaker Ma’am, most of the things that I wanted to talk about have since been mentioned. Firstly, I would like to thank the Government for the gender empowerment policies that they have inculcated into the police service. I have seen a lot of policewomen working in the force as well as other security sectors. Although we are trying to increase a number of women in the police service, Government should consider upgrading conditions of service such as uniforms and transport. Facilities should be upgraded so that they suit female police officers.
What worries me most is that those roadblocks where drums are used, you will find a policewoman rolling that drum. I think there should be consideration as to why drums should be used on road blocks. Why do we not have modern techniques of road blocks? I do not think the use of drums is good for the health of policewomen. I think that is where we get complaints from them suffering from the cervix because they spend the whole day rolling those drums.
The police are doing quite a good job in ensuring that there is peace in this country. There are some people who really want those drums to continue being rolled on road blocks. I think sometimes they expect people who may be doing business in petroleum to donate those drums for their use on road blocks.
I think the conditions of service for policewomen in rural areas are actually bad if I look at my constituency at Ruda Police Station. Since my primary school days up to date, nothing has changed. Nothing shows that we are upgrading and moving with time. If you go to the reception, nothing has changed and nothing shows anything motivating about good work being done – [network challenges] -
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA): Hon. Madiwa, we can hardly hear you as there is a bad connection to your phone. We cannot hear you so those who are writing cannot be able to capture your debate because of the bad connection. Those who are recording are not able to record your speech for capturing into the Hansard. I am sorry, please try to look for better network and come back. I will give you another opportunity after two or three Hon. Members but at the moment, we cannot hear you. I believe all the Hon. Members will agree with me.
Hon. Nyabani on virtual platform having being recognised
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: You are out of order Hon. Nyabani. Put on your necktie just like how you dress when you come to Parliament.
(v) *HON. PRISCILLA MOYO: I would like to thank you Madam Speaker for the opportunity you have given me. I want to support the motion – [Technical fault] –if only they can be provided with transport. Most of the times when a crime is reported the police is unable to attend on time because the police do not have transport.
Most of the things have been said but their accommodation, where I come from the place is not well secured. The houses are too close to each other especially with diseases like COVID. However, the police officers keep on going to work persevering even if their accommodation is not good. I implore the Ministry of Finance to provide funds to upgrade their working conditions. They still use typewriters in this day and age. Sometimes they write by hand. If only the police could be provided with laptops and computers so that they move with the times. This will also be important in terms of record keeping.
On road blocks, I heard another Hon. Member referring to women with regard to roadblocks. If you go to some of those offices, you will discover that they are not user friendly to women such as their toilets and they should be upgraded to move with modern times. At police stations, sometimes we have boreholes that have been sunk. Yes, sometimes these assist enabling people to get water but they are still expected to spend time fetching water from those boreholes at the same time they are expected to attend to crimes on time. When people donate or sink boreholes at police institutions, they should upgrade the system to enable the police to get access to water in their houses instead of subjecting police officers to primitive ways of getting water. Suspects may want to bath and they need facilities that are conducive. I suggest that we should modernise the facilities.
At roadblocks, you find female officers standing and they even spend the night there. In some instances, they use the bush for ablution. I hereby request that these issues be addressed. The Committee should also make a follow up on what has been addressed and what has been left out. The Minister should look into all the issues that were raised by Hon. Members and there is need to inform the House on what was addressed and what was left out so that we see how best we move forward with this issue. I thank you Hon. Madam Speaker Ma’am.
(v)*HON. NYABANI: Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am. I would also like to add my views on this debate raised by Hon. Mayihlome, supported by Hon. Nguluvhe. Indeed, the police officers are working very hard under difficult conditions. I would like to consider four things here. They do not have transport, money, food and accommodation. All these things should be prioritised. When police officers do not have basic things, it means they will not perform their duties properly.
In Rushinga where I come from, police officers cannot walk to arrest suspects. The distance is more than 150 kilometres from the police station to Rushinga. The police need to travel across Rushinga, so they would need food and accommodation. There are no police bases. They have never been constructed. That is leading to an increase in crime. We encourage the Ministry of Home Affairs to consider that you cannot send someone to weed when they do not have a hoe or to fetch water when they do not have a container. In cases where there are no vehicles, why can we not have bicycles to be used by police officers?
In terms of financial benefits, they are not allowed to go on strike, so they go about being given money in shops and they get goats in villages as bribes. They end up sourcing for their own benefits. Police officers do not have accommodation. They are tenants in the areas where they work, so in case of crime, they cannot do their duty professionally. I hereby request the Minister to look into the issue in order to reduce crime by ensuring that the police officers get tools of trade. Police officers have to travel from Bindura to Rushinga on a daily basis. Sometimes, they may actually be involved in accidents. I have been to Mozambique and South Africa and I have never seen police officers in public transport. Police officers should not stay in the community because they may encounter temptations like bribes. I urge the Government, through the Ministry of Home Affairs, to look into the needs of police officers. They are working under difficult conditions whilst they are expected to lead a better life. Sometimes they are murdered because they do not have adequate requirements and facilities to execute their duty. I thank you Hon. Madam Speaker Ma’am.
(v)HON. WATSON: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I just want to re-emphasise points that have been made around infrastructure, which was part of what the report was about. For example, the police station close to my own home was built probably in the 1950s and no extensions have ever been made even on the holding cells or the police camp where the police officers live, except for an area that was done by the residents recently where they can house dogs for a dog unit.
All the police stations in urban areas are relying more and more heavily on the ability of residents to support them with neighbourhood watch and that has to do with infrastructure and resources. So, I hope that the Minister, will have answers for us so that we may know why Government is aggregating the responsibility in terms of local policing to residents and to neighbourhood watch groups. I would like to thank Hon. Mayihlome and his Committee for an excellent job. . Crime rates, particularly in urban areas around cable theft have soared in the last six months to one year and there seems to be no answers. The same answer from police stations if you phone, particularly at night, is we do not have transport, we cannot come or you come and fetch us. Well, nobody who has got an intruder or a burglar in their home is going to go outside to go and fetch a police officer to come attend. It is just wholly unsatisfactory from the point of residents and citizens. Thank you Madam Speaker.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I think we had a lot of people that had raised their hands. I am sure you are going to get some more time to debate this motion. Thank you.
HON. T. MOYO: Madam Speaker I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. B. DUBE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 2nd March, 2022-[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order. Hon. Members order. We have already adjourned this debate. If ever you had any queries you were supposed to ask me before we had adjourned. Indeed, we have got a list which is starting with Hon. Mbondiah, closing with Hon. Muchimwe. That is the order in which the Members raised their hands. I am going to forward the list so that the Clerk will have it for the purposes of tomorrow’s debate.
HON. KASHIRI: Madam Speaker for purposes of clarity would it be in order to just read out the names of Hon. Members for tomorrow?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mbondiah, Hon. Seremwe, Hon. Musarurwa, Hon. Saruwaka, Hon. Markham, Hon. Sauke, Hon. Tofa, Hon. Chinotimba, Hon. Kashiri, Hon. Sithole, Hon. Muchimwe and Hon. Mpofu.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. T. MOYO: Madam Speaker I move that Orders of the Day, Number 16 and 17 be stood over until Order of the Day Number 18 has been disposed of.
HON. B. DUBE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPARATIONS FOR COLONIAL INJUSTICES PERPETRATED ON ZIMBABWE
Eighteenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on reparations for colonial injustices perpetrated on Zimbabwe.
Question again propose.
HON. T. MOYO: Madam Speaker, I want to add my voice to a motion that was moved by Hon. Togarepi, seconded by Hon. Raidza. The issue of reparations is very topical and very important, particularly to Zimbabwe. Reparations have become a common legal means of rectifying past injustices against an individual, group or an entire country.
Madam Speaker, colonialism was an era whereby African countries in general were affected politically, socially, culturally and religiously by the former colonial masters. It took more than 90 years in some countries. In other countries colonialism or the era of imperialism took more than 100 years.
According to a renowned scholar, Nelson Mandela, one of the most respected states men said that the former colonial powers had a responsibility to financially assist Africa. He said, ‘Africa does not want charity, they want assistance because the colonial powers have exploited the continent and it is time now that they put these resources back for the development of the continent.’
The era of imperialism witnessed a lot of injustices which were perpetrated by the colonialists on Africans. Africans were abused, exploited in a number of ways and it is high time that Africa should demand that reparations be made. When we talk about reparation we are talking of compensation which should be given to former colonies by former colonial states, in this case Zimbabwe must be compensated for all the resources that were exploited. Zimbabwe needs to be compensated by Britain for all the injustices which were perpetuated to the black majority of Zimbabweans.
I will begin by looking at economic exploitation. The arable virgin and most productive land of Zimbabwe was expropriated and sequestrated by the British imperialists from 1890 up to 1980 when we got our independence. That is a period of 90 years. We could not decide our own economic schemes to benefit the black majority. We were under the yoke of the British administration. We were under the yoke of an oppressive regime whereby the black majority were removed from the fertile land and placed on those poor infertile soils. In case of the areas to the south of Zimbabwe, some reserves were created, notably Gwai-Shangani.
In Mashonaland, quite a number of reserves were created, areas reserved for blacks to settle in. These were regarded as cemeteries by some scholars because the black majority were dumped into those areas so that they were going to die. They were disease infested and there were a number of calamities which were experienced by the blacks in those reserves. It is high time that those injustices should be redressed. Colonial imbalances should be redressed. We are happy that the Government of Zimbabwe created fertile land for the black majority. We need to applaud our President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa for supporting black majority to regain their lost land.
In 2000, we experienced a fast track land resettlement exercise and that saw the imposition of sanctions as we wanted to address colonial imbalances. These sanctions were not called for. Sanctions are evil. Sanctions are devilish. Sanctions are a form of injustice whereby the Government of Zimbabwe cannot progress well economically because credit lines are blocked. We are calling upon the British Government to compensate and do restitution to the black majority. One should ask a question why it is that almost all African countries are very poor. They are poor because the resources of African countries were taken away by Europeans. Britain is developed because it benefited quite a lot from the resources from Africa, and Zimbabwe in particular.
There was the industrial revolution in Britain and I want to question the word “revolution”. It is not an economic word. You cannot associate an industrial transformation to happen overnight. Revolution implies suddenness as if it is like a political revolution. The word revolution only applies politically and may not apply to economic developments. For example, I will call it industrial evolution because it evolves and takes a lot of time. It is a gradual process. There is no suddenness in terms of economic development. In this case we are saying Britain is developed because of the resources of Zimbabwe which were taken from Zimbabweans. Our gold and labour was taken. A lot of resources were exported to Britain, contributing and culminating in economic development and growth of that country at the expense of the economic development of the African people. We had our cattle, which were sequestrated and stolen away from our African forefathers and that led to development of under-development.
When we talk of under-development, it does not mean absence of development; it means resources of a weak country are taken and used for the benefit of another country. In this case we are saying Zimbabweans will have to be compensated by Britain for the loss of land for a period of 90 years. If we were to do a lot of calculations, in terms of how much money they accumulated during the period of 90 years when we were under colonial rule in terms of loss of our land and cattle that were sequestrated and taken away by European imperialist, in terms of mineral possessions which benefited Britain, we are saying if we were going to cost the value and loss that we got leading to under-development of Zimbabwe, we now want to be compensated. The figure would run into trillions of US dollars that Zimbabwe should be compensated for the loss during the time of imperialism.
Regarding the issue of sanctions, as the Government tried to correct the social injustices in terms of ownership of land, that became a crime as if the black majority of Zimbabweans did wrong in regaining our fertile land. We want those sanctions to go and should go now. We also need compensation, restitution for all the losses that we have incurred since 1890 up to this day. We are a Third World country which is developing largely because of the losses that we incurred as a result of the era of colonialism.
Finally, I want to thank Hon. Togarepi for moving this motion which I feel is very important to us Zimbabwe, that this is the time that we need to be compensated for the losses that we made during the time of colonialism. I want to thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to debate on this important motion.
(v)*HON. PRISCILLA MOYO: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I would like to contribute on the issue that was raised by Hon. Togarepi. This issue of compensation from the colonialists is very painful. When we look at this country, we could be in a better position if the colonialists had acknowledged that their scramble for this country actually destroyed it. Today we are in a very disturbing situation because of what they did to us. If we look at women, they were abused against their own will and what they desired. Women were put in cages and were abused in front of the colonialists’ children.
If we look at the wealth of our country, we are a very wealthy nation. We could be way far ahead if it was not for these colonialists. Looking at other countries that experienced the occupation of their country by these colonialists like Kenya, it was given assistance. Zimbabwe has not had anything and we are suffering. On top of not being compensated, we have been slapped with sanctions and we are going nowhere. Our children are suffering and they are scattered everywhere in the world.
They are looking for survival. The root cause was the colonialists destroying our land and its occupation against our wishes. There is little that our children can do about it to survive. They have no option but to leave for other countries. These countries should compensate us. If we are to be paid the same amounts as those paid to other countries that were once occupied by these colonialists, we would be in a better position. Our children will definitely come back to uplift our country. If we look at Ethiopia, they have children that are outside the country. They come back and invested in their own country but because of sanctions, this cannot be done in our own country.
If it was not for these sanctions, our children could be investing in this country and our country would have been doing very well. If we look at the wealth that we had like cattle that our parents had, which were taken away by the colonialists, it is very painful for us to this day. The whole of Southern African - we have more water than any other country. We would be in a better position if colonialists were to pay us back for the things they took away from us. My humble plea is that may we have the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe removed. Such stringent measures aimed at only a few individuals, what sort of punishment is that? There is nothing like that?
They are just hiding behind a finger. Zimbabwe is suffering because of these sanctions. I am in support of compensation from Britain and they should pay us back for all the things they took from us, the wealth they took away from us to fix their own country. Africa cannot develop when our wealth was channeled out of Africa to develop these colonialists’ empires. Corruption is being caused by sanctions. May they identify exactly where this corruption is coming from? This is the excuse that they are using. Thank you.
(v)+HON. R. MPOFU: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I will start by thanking the Hon. Member who moved the motion Hon. Togarepi, seconded by Hon. Raidza. The issue we are talking about is very painful. The issue which was done by the British in our country of ill treating our ancestors in different ways by taking their wealth, land and in the end, they then ask for compensation for land which is not theirs. In addition to this, they place us on sanctions without any reason just because we took our land. In my view, if there is need for compensation, they should not be given money. How can we compensate them when there are people that they killed during the liberation struggle and those people were not compensated? I thank you.
HON. MUNETSI: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this chance to air my views. I want to thank the Chief Whip for bringing this discussion on board and to thank Hon. Raidza for seconding the motion. I believe if you are a true Zimbabwean, this motion is one of the most heartbreaking motions in this House. If you look back and think of what has been done to us by the British, you will discover that everything that was done was very diminutive; there was nothing good for us.
We are suffering double trouble from our colonizers. I was making an analysis on what to colonize is and if you take semi colons in English - why colonize a word; you are a British state in Africa. For us to think that way, it is so heartbreaking. The British took our land, they used us, paid our forefathers nothing, they brainwashed us, they killed our brethren, they fought us, they bombed us in Mozambique, they took our minerals and we went under slave trade.
If you go to Nyanga, you will see what colonization is. There is a place called Little England whereby they even created some little England in Zimbabwe, that is high class colonization. They never dreamt that one day a worm will raise its head to hide – double trouble. After the war, we are under sanctions by the same people. Now you can imagine what these people want. Sanctions are conditions which you are given. You have no freedom if you are sanctioned – conditions which are designed for you to fail, that is to sanction someone, you cannot go back and forth, you are stuck where you are, you cannot move, you try this and that, every corner is blocked, you cannot go anywhere.
You suffer travel bans, trade embargos, even if you have the items. I am a member of the Environment Committee and we always argue that we have enough elephant tusks in the country which we can sell and boost this country in a day but we cannot do that because we are sanctioned. There are some measures that have been put around us. We have elephants in thousands, they are here in Zimbabwe but they are sanctions by someone in Britain. This is one of the motions which must be sent to Britain. When all these Hon. Members have spoken, this must be sent to Britain so that they know that we do not like that. Instead when they were defeated, thank God, they want us to pay them for the defeat. What odds; can that be possible after having done all this to our forefathers and even to us? They want us to pay them. They must pay for all the atrocities during the war, they must pay for all the comrades that did not come back home. They must pay for all the comrades that are living, their gratuities and everything. They must pay for widows of the liberation struggle, they must pay for the mujibhas and chimbwidos, they must pay for the children of the war veterans. This is what all these British must do; why not if they have colonized us for such a long time and took everything away and left us naked? Why do we have a soft hand on these people, we have freedom already and if we go to war, they cannot defeat us, so what do we fear?
I want to think that one of these days if all goes well, after blacks have suffered all this long, carrying them on our shoulders, I have seen pictures in some history books where a British is standing and is holding some breast of an African woman, you have seen that before it is there, trying to show that we are very inhuman. We are humans, God created us and one of these days, if we stand up together as a nation, the British must pay us. I thank you.
HON. T. MOYO: Madam Speaker, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. PETER MOYO: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 2nd March, 2022.
On the motion of HON. T. MOYO, seconded by HON. PETER MOYO the House adjourned at Five Minutes past Six o’clock p.m.