Monday, 29 September 2008

the ZRP in the news

Hello again, I felt compelled to come back and write about some of the things I have seen regarding the ZRP in the news...

The first thing that caught my eye was this story about Chihuri locking up a police officer for making remarks critical of Mugabe! Well Dinyero - take hope, I would be pleased to include you on the board of enquiry that reviews allegations against Chihuri! I would have thought by now that officers such as Dinyero, whose voice is growing stronger and louder each day would not be mistreated, but their detractors would do well to listen to them. The law under which Dinyero has been arrested is a very questionable law and I think it is high time that people using this so called "legislation" to protect Mugabe's reputation (you need a law to do that where normal people can see through your nonsense!), would be busy making exit plans themselves.

I note also that Chihuri is now COMMISSIONER GENERAL.... erm is this a police force or the army???? perhaps soon he will be the Commissioner Field Marshal General??? Get a grip - Commissioner is a standard for senior police men - but I guess he needed that to stand on an equal footing with the Generals in the JOC owned military junta! In my opinion, he would be lucky to be an auxiliary reserve constable.. not quite sure he would be up to that job either!

Starving Residents to Take Legal action Against the Police:

Another gem of professional policing also made it into the news with this story on the SWradio site! I see that the police, with nothing much else to do (since, of course real crime is NOT their business), felt reasonably motivated to interfere in people getting much needed food aid! Well, it is clear what their motivation was - they want the food themselves - and how dare anyone interfere with Mugabe's food and aid distribution policy? We have to remember that food only belong to those who vote for Mugabe... not those who really need it! (do excuse my sarcasm, but this fiasco would be laughable if it were not so sad!).

I wait in great anticipation to hear the explanations of those so called officers in days to come to try and justify what it was they were actually trying to achieve? These days are numbered and the corrupt officers who run these stupid operations and carry out these biased and ILLEGAL tasks need to start thinking about what they are doing. It will not be long now, before they must account for their actions.

I think the days are drawing in on this regime now.. and I think it is high time that officers woke up to their responsibilities. They will have to remember that they are there to protect the people and serve them and the nation as whole and not a single party.

And I note, thankfully, that the indomitable Bvudzijena is growing ever quieter.. maybe he is waking up? Nah - too much to hope for I think!


A Blueprint for the ZRP

Hello all, well with Mugabe being away and it being deathly quiet in terms of news, coupled with personal tragedy in my family - there hasn't been too much to write about recently.

It would seem though, that something is happening, Mugabe has come back earlier than I understood he was meant to and Mbeki's sudden demise have added all kinds of new speculation to the situation. Clearly though, the balance of power has shifted with changes in South Africa - suddenly Mugabe will feel a lot more exposed, no wonder he feels that the Democratic process (which still works in South Africa) IS "devastating" - it is really only devastating to ZANU-pf''s military junta and spells the final death knoll for un democratic leadership in Zimbabwe.

I have, for some time been considering a blueprint for the police force to be resurrected in Zimbabwe. It will be a gargantuan task and fraught with many dangers. Police officers loyal to their calling will be on the front line and face a great deal of danger - from their own erstwhile colleagues - particularly those who have climbed through the force causing mayhem and destroying the structure of the force in the process to support Mugabe. In the process discipline and processes have been cast aside. This has allowed corruption to flourish and indeed it has become the norm now.

I spoke to friend in Zimbabwe last night who said that the police force no longer functions, except to provide traffic control for Mugabe's motorcade, and collect bribes at roadblocks. In fact police action now depends on who pays the biggest bribe to the highest ranking man, it has absolutely nothing to do with controlling incidents and carrying out a thorough investigative procedure. So how do you fix such a massive machine when it so broken?


Well a huge number of things have to be done almost immediately.

The hierarchy in the force comprising the Commissioner, the Deputy Commissioners and many Senior Assistant Commissioners needs to be suspended.

Suitable replacements need to be found, either in the few remaining serving senior officers or in many of the those who have been forced to resign. I know a few of the senior officers both serving and ex members who would be very capable of taking this task on and removing the political bias in the direction and leadership of the force.

CID Homicide and CID law and Order sections need to have virtually every man suspended and arrested (They were instrumental in much of the torture inflicted by the police).

The police constabulary A branch, B branch and C branch need to be disbanded immediately.

A huge number of transfers need to take place to move officers out of their comfort zones and mix them with colleagues they cannot be sure of across the country.

The police supply chain needs to be examined and refinanced. Police men and women all look like a complete shower. Their uniforms are falling apart, dress orders are no longer enforced and their general appearance engenders absolutely no respect from the public. Those that do have new uniforms (generally those that stand behind Mugabe at conferences etc) have uniforms that are several sizes too big! It is absolutely laughable.

Police transport is badly distributed, generally used by officers in charge as their personal "company cars" and most of them are, in themselves, moving violations!

Station inspections will have to be carried out and great attention paid to what has happened to the various reports in the RRB's, IR's and OB's. These docket will have to be examined to see whether any form of actual reality has been applied to them. Investigation will have to be carried out into CR's and "missing documentation" - The system used to be very good indeed and missing paperwork falls within a chain of responsibility - so where it has gone "missing" officers need to be charged.

Training needs to be examined, as does the rank structure. When I was in depot, all officers did six months initial boot camp style training before being deployed to stations where they were put in the company of experienced officers and learnt the trade from personal experience. And yes, they had to do the "undesirable" duties to begin with - roadblocks, farm patrols, guard duties and so on - that is a rite of passage. For some bizarre reason, Chihuri and co decided we would be better off following the British style of 18 months training which would include periods at a station working. Not sure I get this though - are not the British the enemy?? Anyway, I have not been impressed with the British police - by and large they are not corrupt, but they have no public faith and this is largely engendered by their behaviour and attitude - and their hands are bound by ever expanding and more complex "human rights" laws, mountains of paperwork, statistical targets and a departure from basic principles of policing - for instance, I have often heard people complain that the police in Zimbabwe took so long to attend to various reports - but did you know that in the UK if you report a break in or criminal damage case, in most cases the police will simply provide a report number for insurance purposes? They "do not, as a matter of policy, attend every 'minor' incident". - So how then, do they gather evidence? They cannot accurately plot a crime map and, in the event an arrest is made (by mistake usually!), how do they tie the accused to the crimes in a given area? They cannot - so the accused appears in court charged with one offence, gets a warning and is back on the street in ten minutes... hmmmm!

Anyway, serious thought should be given to retaining some of the older core policing that the ZRP inherited - it was effective and it worked well.

Having disbanded the Police Constabulary, it would be a good idea to reform it - this may sound to be a bit of a contradiction, however, remember that one of the big entrance requirement was ZANU-pf membership, we need to be rid of that. Also, given the lack of selection applied to policon members, most are unsuitable for service. There is no reliable record keeping for them and they can virtually assume whatever rank they wish - in fact many have been promoted, at least to Assistant Inspector by doing "favours" for various officers..

A lot of attention will have to be paid to providing a flying squad / scorpions type response to urgent reports and emergencies - that would be central to rebuilding public confidence in the force also.

Having said all that - with a proper selection procedure, suitability tests and training, they could become an effective tool in the police armoury once again and help to boost numbers without draining the budget. They can also be a good balance and check to ensure that the police are not a "closed corporation" with a hidden agenda as they have become.

Perhaps the entire rank structure of the force needs to be re-examined with the re- introduction of the "patrol officer" rank and a two tiered entry system based on educational achievement? It worked very well before, why was it changed? I often think about that old saying - "if it ain't broke - don't fix it"!

By continually "fixing" and adjusting something that was working, we now have something that is completely broken - from the basic function of the force to its entire infrastructure, men, women, stations, vehicles, horses, buildings, accommodation etc - it is interesting to not the beautiful new stables built on the way to Chivero... yet many officers have no accommodation!! And for the most part, horses are only ceremonial in this day and age, although they do have a role to play in actual policing also!

And I haven't even got started on the Support Unit!

There is SO MUCH to fix, so little time before this caretaker government will have to hold elections and if this stuff is not sorted out - the next elections are hardly likely to be policed effectively by an unbiased police force - therefore the elections would not be free and fair. AGAIN. And the ramifications are too terrible to contemplate!

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

The Next Steps

Hello All,

It never fails to amaze me the amount of guesswork and mischief making that seems to go into modern reporting. I am a believer that the modern media is, quite often, the policy setter in so many situations. Sadly, this is a huge double edged sword and speculation in the media can often have a very detrimental effect on the outcome of a situation.

At this time, despite the circulation of various "lists" of cabinet posts in the media, the only thing known for sure, is that the accord had been signed, but discussion over ministries has not yet happened! It is interesting to note the situation that the new dispensation has caused may itself be responsible for the delays. ZANU-pf are now locked in their own meeting to decided who will get what from the new government... a little pre-emptive given that the division of the ministries has not yet taken place! Surely the allocation of ministries is the first order of business? It does show, however, that there are many hard feelings in ZANU-pf and people scurrying to and fro to try and secure themselves in the new order, an order over which their control is now severely limited! Mugabe must now be marvelling at how effective his divide and rule policies have been and I think that this, in itself will be yet another step towards oblivion for ZANU-pf. I would love to be a fly on the wall there and watch and listen to the disagreements and finger pointing that must be going on at ZANU-pf headquarters! Let see what happens next!

Sadly though, these delays, again brought about by ZANU-pf's inability to govern even themselves, let alone the nation as a whole, only have the effect of further delay the installation of a government which will run and administer Zimbabwe. Until this happens, no one will be able to say how much, if any, water the agreement holds and whether it is the beginning of the road to recovery.

As for the police, I note that they are remarkably quiet right now. Where are the statements from the Commissioner and his staff congratulating the parties on their historic move to end the defacto one party state? Where is the voluble Bvudzijena now? I note the absence of a statement from him indicating that police will strive to achieve the impartiality required to cover the new agreement in solid Law and Order? Why no comment indicating that the police acknowledge thier shortcomings and a need to re-adjust and to provide law and order for all?

Hmmm - that old quote again - the silence is deafening!

I imagine that mush like the rest of the world, they wait to discover who will control what? Being a hugely partisan organisation they must, inevitably, fear the consequences of their blind faith. What happens if, indeed, the Prime Minister gains control of the force?

I would imagine that these worries are now foremost in the minds of the individuals, particularly the hierarchy of the force. For too ling they have served ZANU-pf faithfully and, in return have achieved much for their own personal benefit - and now they must be wondering how hard it is going to be to lose those things. I would guess that after much time of being immune from the law, the prospect that it might actually be applied to them now must be quite daunting!

It is going to be a difficult time for those policemen and women who have strayed from the path of policing for personal gain, whether material or political.

If I were one of them, by now I would be living quietly on the coast in some other country and keeping a very low profile indeed!

As we wait and see what the new dispensation will be, I am contemplating a blueprint for recovery for the police which I will endeavour to publish over the coming days and weeks.


Friday, 12 September 2008


I think it is now time for Chihuri and his deputies to resign. They have not contributed one iota to the nation and, in particular, to the Zimbabwe Republic Police. It is now time for them to start preparing their defences for charges to be brought under the Police Act.

Ordinary police officers will not miss their so-called leadership but should be aware that the days of acting as the ZANU-pf militia are now at an end. I would suggest that my colleagues be very mindful of human rights and the job description of the peace officer (police officer) in Zimbabwe. I recall the description extremely well and it needs to come into sharp focus now:

1. Protection of life
2. Protection of property
3. Prevention of crime
4. Detection of crime
5. Maintain Law and Order

These are the 5 main precepts of the job description - start acting accordingly.

And you should all remember that you WILL now have to salute Morgan Tsvangirai! I certainly look forward to that day myself. It will give me great pride to pay respects to the man who has endured so much and by proxy to his followers who have resisted intimidation, torture, cruelty, murder, rape, assault, dispossession and virtually every other offence against the person it is possible to imagine.

I have now revealed my identity to certain party insiders and I am hopeful that I will, shortly, be called back into service. I will reveal my identity further if the power sharing deal takes the shape we all hope it will and I hope that I can continue to blog, hopefully on more topical lines associated with the Zimbabwe Republic Police in the future. Until then, I will keep up to speed with all the developments!

I would wish to give my undertaking to the people of Zimbabwe to pursue the criminals who brought suffering to so many and to help remove corruption from within the force itself.

I have to say that I am, finally, becoming hopeful that we are now on the road to the end of this madness. Lets see what happens on Monday then!

A Bated Breath

Well reading the various news stories on the net regarding the signing of the deal is still full of assumption and innuendo, but little real real fact.

It would seem that the details will be released on Monday and, until then speculation will be rife!

The one ray of hope is that it would appear that the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Ministry of Home Affairs will, in fact, fall under the control of the MDC - who are really the legally elected representatives of the people and nation of Zimbabwe.

Is this the momentous occasion we have awaited? Will ZANU-pf attempt its normal hijack of things? One wonders, but I do take comfort in the fact that Morgan Tsvangirai sticks to his guns and Mugabe and Mbeki will not find it easy to bully him into what is wanted by ZANU-pf. So we will have to see how things develop now.

And, as TheBeardedMan points out - 72 hours is a lifetime in Zimbabwean politics.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

A Deal?

It would appear, from all that is being said and done and written, that a power sharing deal is on the table that may just be the answer to shifting the balance of power. Although there is still some worrisome posturing from ZANU-pf circles, I think that once a deal comes into being, those members of the armed forces who have been threatened and cajoled into doing the party's bidding, may well feel that they are now free to act within the law.

For the Zimbabwe Republic Police, this will be a very intense and interesting time and will require very careful and measured actions to rid the force of the ZANU-pf faithful and the corrupt, who are now starting to realise that the game is very close to being up.

It is interesting to note that Chihuri is very keen to be nice to Mbeki, in the hope that he will look kindly on his request for immunity and, probably asylum. I hope though, that when Chihuri runs for the hills, he will take Godwin Matanga and the other Deputy Commissioners with him. This will then clear the decks for a proper police hierarchy to be put in place and begin the huge process of bring the Zimbabwe Republic Police back to the high standard that it inherited.

I was considering my position on all this and, given the legalities of the situation, I have to confess that I would see no actual reason to salute Mugabe or any of his party appointed members of the ZRP - they carry no legal mandate from the people of Zimbabwe and, therefore, there is no requirement to either salute them or follow orders from. A police officer in Zimbabwe is only duty bound to follow "lawful orders" - which would leave anything the party faithful want in dubious territory, whilst conversely, officers should be sitting up and taking note that the real legal head of state in Morgan Tsvangirai and not following lawful orders from him could be tantamount to dereliction of duty!

I sometimes wonder if we are not victims of Confucius' famous lines "may you live in interesting times!"

We shall watch and see the developments over the immediate future with a mixture of hope and trepidation and hopefully the time is at hand for a new dawn in Zimbabwe.


Tuesday, 9 September 2008

All Villains?

I have been following the recent news article about the Air Force Jet that crashed at Thornhill Airbase and one cannot help but wonder what really is the status quo in the forces. The two man crew of the training aircraft are reported to have stayed with the aircraft to avoid allowing it to crash into the base primary school.

Indeed an act of heroism.

Would these then be the same type of individual that allow, condone or assist those who carry out rape, assault and murder? Given my experience of human nature, that would appear to be very unlikely indeed. I know colleagues in the ZRP who have a similar disposition. I know that these people, invariably not the party faithful, are watched very closely by internal security personnel. Sooner or later though, they will stop toeing the party line. And ZANU-pf need to know that these guys are there, watching and waiting and the day will arrive when people will be called to account for their wrongdoing.

Another article that caught my attention is the SA NEWS 24 story "No Deal Yet - Mugabe". Basically this continues to follow the ongoing negotiations. A few things are remarkable about this - firstly, I am impressed that it seems some effort is being made to keep talking to bring about a deal. Given the polarity if the issues at stake, it would seem that a deal cannot be struck as Mugabe cannot relinquish the power that holds the ZANU-pf sponsored state and machinery together, and Tsvangirai cannot accept anything less.. but at least the talking continues. And Mbeki's sudden focus on the matter indicates that much pressure exists in the background.

But I think there are two items in this particular piece that need addressing - firstly, this news service (and probably others too) still insist on calling Mugabe "President" - Although it is quite clear that he is not! As TheBeardedMan points out in his blog the following is the law - and, of course, being ignored in Zimbabwe (and elsewhere):

"Electoral Act, Ch 213, subparagraph 3(1) of the Second Schedule, which states as follows:
Determination, declaration and notification of result of Presidential poll:
3 (1) after the number of votes received by each candidate as shown in each constituency return has been added together in terms of subparagraph (3) of paragraph 3 (2)
the Chief Elections Officer shall forthwith declare the candidate who has received:
(a) where there are two candidates, the greater number of votes;
b) where there are more than two candidates, the greatest number of votes;
to be duly elected as President of the Republic of Zimbabwe with effect from the day of such declaration."

Why then, do the rest of the free world, give credence to Mugabe's claim of being President? It is quite clear, from the law, that this is NOT the case.

Which again raises some interesting questions for police officers - and other security force members - for instance, this would mean, therefore, that Mugabe is not the head of state and not the Commander in Chief of the Army etc. Therefore, he cannot grant commissions to serving officers, he cannot issue orders and should, in point of law be, at worst ignored, at best, arrested!

Also, in this article, it states
"Tsvangirai also gained more votes than Mugabe in March elections but failed to pass the 50% threshold to unseat the authoritarian leader." Well, as can be seen from the electoral act, this irrelevant anyway - and I see that this service is now quoting the ZANU-pf line.. without any reference to the fact that Tsvangirai actually received 50.3%, and that was even after there was fiddling going on! Of course that didn't produce the desired result, so delays and more fiddling were required!