Police officers not safe living among civilians: Matanga

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  • Commissioner General Matanga said the police would be safer and more efficient if they were offered accommodation by the police force.

POLICE Commissioner Godwin Matanga has said the police was failing to provide accommodation to officers which was affecting their security and service delivery.

Matanga said this while speaking in Masvingo during a recent visit by the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Kazembe Kazembe.

The police boss revealed an array of shortages of resources in police departments chief among them being the shortage of toilets at many camps, which Kazembe said Government was looking into addressing.

The officer commanding police in Masvingo province, Commissioner David Mahoya told Kazembe and Commissioner General Matanga that the province was faced with shortages of toilets, offices, police vehicles, stationery, fuel and accommodation among others.

Commissioner Mahoya said the case of Rujeko police station was worrying saying under normal circumstances the station would be condemned as there were no toilets and a confined office space.

“Literally, there is no police station here, there are no toilets, place is small, officer in charge shares office and no vehicles to deliver services,” said Comm Mahoya.

Commissioner General Matanga said the police would be safer and more efficient if they were offered accommodation by the police force.

“The ZRP has only 12 000 housing units that are accommodating 18 760 police officers. Over 30 000 police officers are renting private accommodation, a situation which compromises security of members as well as service delivery,” said Commissioner General Matanga.

Minister Kazembe responded saying the government was aware of the accommodation plight and efforts to establish proper accommodation was being considered.

“The shortage of accommodation which has, unfortunately resulted in some members seeking private rental accommodation, has always been a cause for concern.

“Concerted efforts are being made to ensure police officers and members get decent accommodation.

“I have noted that the station is facing an acute shortage of transport and fuel. Police officers need to attend crime scenes in time in order to guard against the loss of evidence.

“Government remains alive to this challenge and efforts are being made to improve police agility and effectiveness through procurement of more operational vehicles,” said Kazembe. ■

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