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'Report rogue cops to superiors'

by Staff reporter
16 Apr 2020 at 07:14hrs | Views
PEOPLE aggrieved by the conduct of police enforcing the lockdown measures must report to the authorities for action to be taken, a top police officer has said.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi made the call following social media reports insinuating harassment of citizens by law enforcement agents. Journalists have not been spared the harassment as a number of them have allegedly been at the receiving end of the police at checkpoints.

Most of the checkpoints are manned by members of the army and the police.

"We are concerned by messages on social media platforms of misconduct by officers while enforcing the lockdown. We are urging all concerned people to approach the Zimbabwe Republic Police Command or the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Command and report any misconduct by officers so that investigations may be carried out," he said.

On the issue of journalists who have been either arrested or denied opportunities to carry out their duties because they are using 2019 accreditation cards, Asst Comm Nyathi said communication was done across the country informing officers that journalists should be allowed to operate with the 2019 cards.

"A communication was done on March 30 to all stations across the country advising them that journalists should be allowed to do their work with the 2019 accreditation cards. We are aware that they are offering an essential service and they should work freely.

"What we urge between journalists and officers is cooperation. They must all be professional. There are cases where journalists reported that they had been harassed by officers. We are looking into those matters."

Meanwhile, the police clampdown on defiant motorists and pedestrians loitering in the country's cities and those operating non-essential businesses, among other violations has to date netted 6 547. These offenders were arrested for violating Statutory Instrument 83 of 2020.

"Those who were arrested for unnecessary movements constitute the biggest number. We continue to urge the public to comply with the lock-down directive. We will not hesitate to arrest those who defy it," Asst Comm Nyathi said.

The lockdown measures were put in place to prevent and contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has so far killed three while 18 people have tested positive.

Source - the herald