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ZRP demands more from fiscus

by Staff reporter
15 Nov 2023 at 18:43hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has pleaded with Parliament to push for an upward review of its budget allocation, arguing the inadequate funding of the police force is crippling operations.

Appearing before the parliamentary portfolio committee on Defence, Home Affairs, Veterans of Liberation Struggle and Security chaired by Beitbridge East MP, Albert Nguluvhe, police Deputy Commissioner-General Learn Ncube said the capability and image of the police require a lot of resources.

Ncube said the skills and the competencies of the police sometimes leave a lot to be desired due to inadequate resources, even for training police officers.

"But when we look at goods and services which are our operations, under training and development expenses. We want to train police officers. Members of the committee will agree with me that the outlook of your police organisation in terms of skills and the competencies sometimes leave a lot to be desired and it is the intention of the ministry and the department to ensure that our members are adequately trained," said the Deputy Commissioner-General.

Police proposed a ZW$130 billion budget towards the skilling and training of police officers, but the ZRP got only 15% of its desired allocation.

"Hence under this subhead we were allocated ZW$20 940 110 000 out of a requirement of ZWL$130 000 000 000 that was our ideal budget. For us to be effective on the ground this cannot be over emphasized as was said by the PS (permanent secretary), we need to train our officers academically and for them to get professional education," said Ncube.

Police officers have been hogging the limelight for corruption and unprofessional conduct such as the violation of citizens' rights, including the smashing of windows of public transport vehicles. Zimbabwe's policing system is also backward in an era of widespread digital policing.

It is against this background that Ncube pleaded with the committee to lobby for an upward review of resources to capacitate police with technology advancements.

"The allocated funds cater for the smart policing concept that integrates information and communication technology. You can agree with me, that we are very behind with technology, very, very behind. That is why you see in our towns we are having fiasco in managing traffic because they know our technology is lagging very much behind, hence we think this sub-head can be raised," said Ncube. In his plea, Ncube told Parliament that the ZRP has forensic and cyber labs that aid in solving crimes, but the facilities are underfunded.

"Under our CID we have what we call a cyber-crime laboratory office. This is a specialised unit and under this sub-head we have requested for ZW$8.9 billion, but, we were only allocated ZW$4.2 billion which is not enough," said Ncube.

He added that failure to capacitate this lab makes it easy for innocent people to be imprisoned.

"For the forensic laboratory equipment, we had requested for ZW$84 billion and we only received ZW$6 billion, it's just a drop in the ocean and we are saying in crime management forensic science analyses evidence from scenes of crime, suspects and victims there is nothing easy than having an innocent person being convicted because we would have failed to carry out proper investigations. So to avoid that there is need for us to be resourced scientifically so that our evidence which we provide to our courts are best to none," said Ncube.

In all these years, police have been outsourcing expert witnesses on cases that require forensic and cyber-crimes.

"It's so disheartening to be found in an organisation where we want expert evidence we had to outsource from neighbouring countries. We have this cyber-crime laboratory and the forensic science laboratory, we want equipment. They are in place. I can't remember when you visited us last time, if you managed to go through these two labs, they are in place, but we need equipment to ensure that we operate at 100%. so for the cyber-crime laboratory we were given just below 50% and we are saying how about if we were given 100% and ensure that we buy the equipment and we provide the best service," he said.

In addition, Ncube raised the issue of the welfare of police officers, saying they are not receiving allowances for conducting out-of town duties and they are the only ones in the civil service not getting such a benefit.

"Mindful that the welfare of officers and members on deployments away from home stations must be effectively addressed so that the desired goals and objectives are achieved. I believe that Zimbabwe Republic Police as we speak is the only organisation in the government where you can assign someone to go and perform duties without earning T and S [travel and subsistence allowance], they go and they perform adequately, but we are saying that we ensure that the members with all this martyrdom are also remunerated accordingly in terms of travel expenses like any other government employee assigned on duty," said Ncube.

In the previous budget, the whole force got finances that were not adequate even to cover for three months of its annual fuel requirements.

"I will then move on, honourable chair, to fuel, oils and lubricants where we had requested for ZW$ 270 54 940 000, however, we were allocated only ZW$25  251 844 000. This amount which was allocated is not even enough to take us beyond three months because what we need in terms of our consumption, we need about 800 000 litres of diesel a month and 500 000 litres of petrol a month. This is what we are supposed to be getting so that we adequately provide the police service to our people."

Source - newshawks