Police must maintain the highest degree of vigilance to guarantee maintenance of law and order as well as the protection of life and property before, during and after the forthcoming harmonised general elections, President Mnangagwa said yesterday.
He reiterated his administration’s zero tolerance to politically motivated violence and that his Government will never allow the present peace, unity and stability in the country to be tainted for the political expediency of a few rogue pseudo politicians.
He was speaking yesterday while commissioning 132 vehicles for the police, which include off road pick up vehicles, some of which will be assigned for border patrols.
He also unveiled a new name for the Morris Depot Police Academy, ZRP Mkushi Academy, as well as donating 100 computers and printers to the ZRP. The academy is named after the Mkushi Girls Training Camp in Zambia that was attacked by Rhodesian forces in 1977 massacring many of the unarmed female trainees.
“As you are aware, our country is now in election season with the harmonised general elections due to be held on August 23 this year. I wish to reiterate my administration’s zero tolerance to politically motivated violence.
“Violence, divisive tendencies and nefarious machinations are unacceptable and alien to our country’s politics. My Government will never allow the present peace, unity and stability in our country to be tainted for the political expediency of a few rogue pseudo politicians.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police must, thus, assume the highest degree of vigilance to guarantee maintenance of law and order as well as the protection of life and property, before, during and after elections. I exhort you, the men and women in our police force, to be watchful, pro-active and bring all perpetrators of politically motivated crimes to book, without fear or favour.
“Meanwhile, I want to commend our people, throughout the country, for showing a high level of political maturity since the proclamation of the election date. Let us all continue with this culture of peace, unity and oneness as we demonstrate that our country is now a mature democracy.
“The atmosphere that has characterised all political activities to date, is applauded. Going forward, I call upon the citizenry to say, no to violence in all its forms. Let us all cultivate, nurture and preach peace, unity, political tolerance, love and harmony,” President Mnangagwa said.
On commissioning the vehicles, the President said, his Government has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to build the capacity of the police through the gradual modernisation and incremental provision of tools of trade.
“This consignment of vehicles, which is the third batch availed to the Zimbabwe Republic Police by the Second Republic, is part of a range of interventions we are making to elevate the capacity of the police force to deliver on its Constitutional mandate.
“It is equally with a deep sense of pride and reverence that we are also witnessing the official re-naming of the Police Academy from Morris Depot to ZRP Mkushi Academy. The facility is the country’s premier police training institution of excellence. Its new name is a befitting honour to the many sons and daughters of our motherland, Zimbabwe who sacrificed life and limb under the brutal racist Rhodesian regime, to bring about the independence, freedom, democracy, peace and stability we are enjoying today.
“You may recall that since 2017, the Zanu PF Government took a deliberate and bold decision to rename our key national institutions and facilities in recognition of our country’s rich liberation war heritage,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said this was also in keeping with the spirit and letter of Section 23, sub-section (1) of the National Constitution which exhorts the State and all institutions and agencies of Government at every level, to accord due respect, honour and recognition to veterans of the liberation struggle.
He said to date, a series of facilities throughout the country’s provinces have been renamed such as King George VI Barracks to Josiah Magama Tongogara Barracks, Headquarters 3 Infantry Brigade in Mutare after the late Comrade Hebert Wiltshire Chitepo and the Flyde Air Force Base, after the late Comrade Jaison Ziyaphapha Moyo, as well as Thornhill Air Base to Josiah Tungamirai Air Base.
He said Brady Barracks in Bulawayo was renamed Mzilikazi Barracks and the Zimbabwe Military Academy cantonment in Gweru was renamed Solomon Mujuru Barracks, while 4 Brigade Barracks was renamed Gava Musungwa Zvinavashe Barracks, among many other such changes. “These names must help keep our liberation war history revered, for posterity, as homage to our selfless liberators. The unveiling of the new name for the Police Academy, ZRP Mkushi Academy, epitomises aspects of the indelible history of our nation. The colonial settler regime, in its typical merchant of death obsession, undertook a ferocious and heartless attack on liberation fighters and chose to decimate female guerrillas at Mkushi Girls Training Camp in Zambia.
“The Mkushi Camp, established by ZIPRA in 1977 housed predominantly girls receiving basic training in security and aspects of public administration and health, tasked with serving the liberation war effort from the rear. The massacre at Mkushi Camp of these unarmed ZAPU female cadres on October 19 1978, along with similar attacks at Freedom Camp on the same day in October 1978, Nyadzonya Massacre in August 1976 and Chimoio Massacre in November 1977 stand in history, as a reminder of the brutality of the colonial regime,” President Mnangagwa said.
He said the Mkushi Camp attack was also a testimony of the role, contributions and sacrifices made by the women of Zimbabwe, during the liberation struggle.
He said under his administration, women continue to be accorded due recognition across all levels of society.
“In honour of the yesteryear sons and daughters who fought for our independence. I challenge the Zimbabwe Republic Police and others who will pass through this ZRP Mkushi Academy, to never forget this sacred history. Our country’s independence and the democracy we have today did not come on a silver platter.
“Individually and collectively we have a duty to defend and protect our sacred motherland, Zimbabwe. Never again shall our people be subjected to the brutal indignity of subjugation, under whatever guise. As the people of Zimbabwe, we shall forever be masters of our own destiny,” he said.
He said as the country was marching to realise the national vision of becoming a prosperous and empowered upper middle income economy by 2030 and to achieve this, a peaceful and secure environment was key.
“This weighty responsibility lies with the Zimbabwe Republic Police as the primary agency entrusted with law enforcement. This role of our Police Service in the sustainable socio-economic development of our nation must never be taken lightly. I, therefore, enjoin you to fully utilise all the resources at your disposal for the continued peace, security and stability of our beloved Motherland, Zimbabwe.
“The 132 vehicles we are commissioning include off-road pick up vehicles, some of which are targeted for border line patrols. The vehicles before us will enhance your mobility and responsiveness which are critical elements of policing.
“The provision of these vehicles should complement other initiatives such as community policing, which emphasises all of society’s involvement in the realisation of peace and security. I am equally mindful that policing, especially in today’s modern age, requires an array of resources beyond the vehicles we are handing over today,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said his Government was also in the process of mobilising resources to acquire modern ICT-based equipment and products to ensure that the police meet the demands of contemporary policing.
Smart policing and ICT-based technologies had to be accelerated to enable the police force to be ahead of the criminality associated with a globalised world.
“I exhort you to urgently form strategic partnerships with other arms of Government to make technology a key pedestal in the fight against crime as you implement the ZRP strategic plan. You must do more to modernise your operations; my Government will support your needs.
“My Government and society at large remain concerned with the rise of drug and substance abuse among our youths. My administration has since declared zero tolerance to drugs and substance abuse. In this regard, I challenge the police and other stakeholders, including the private sector, to continuously rise to the challenge and ensure that those involved in the production and distribution of drugs and illicit substances are brought to book. Our youth must be allowed to grow up in a safe environment free from drug and substance abuse, to live productive and fulfilling lives. The onus is upon all of us, to play our part. We must never stand by and risk losing a whole generation to this scourge. It is my hope that this fleet of vehicles will enhance the capacity of the ZRP to track down and bring to book drug peddlers and their cartels,” he said.
President Mnangagwa also encouraged the ZRP to put the new vehicles to good use, cognisant of the fact that society in general remains the ultimate beneficiary.
He said Zimbabweans across the board, expect to see higher visibility and tangible results anchored on a high performance culture, swift reaction to crime scenes, increased police presence and timely crime detection levels, among other aspects.
“It is my expectation that these public assets will be timely serviced and well looked after. As custodians of law and order, I once again direct you to discharge your duties diligently, with patriotism and the unflinching love for our motherland, Zimbabwe,” President Mnangagwa said.
The event was attended by Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga, Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe, Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and Government officials and senior police officers.