The Parliamentary portfolio committee on defence, home affairs and security services has said the morale of police officers in the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is at its lowest level.
The committee warned the police service could collapse if no urgent action is taken to lift the morale of police officers through better pay, fixing key infrastructure and providing modern operational tools.
The committee said, “morale of officers across the entire police service was at its lowest ebb despite their demonstration of resilience and patriotism.”
The committee added, “further procrastination to redress the various challenges in the entire organisation has the potential of collapsing the policing system due to increased indiscipline and poor service delivery.”
The committee conducted an inquiry into the state of infrastructure and service delivery by the Zimbabwe Republic Police between October and November last year.
In a report presented to parliament, the MPs said “the state of infrastructure across the 10 provinces leaves a lot to be desired.” The lawmakers said:
Dilapidated institutional and residential accommodation, poor ablution facilities resulting in officers opting for the bush system, obsolete office furniture, inadequate tools of trade, use of ineffective policing equipment which is inconsistent with contemporary policing technology, inadequate transport and fuel supplies are just but a few of the many signs and symptoms of an ailing policing system.
The committee, chaired by retired Brigadier General Levy Mayihlome (Zanu-PF), said the majority of the challenges faced by the ZRP are a result of underfunding and delayed release of funds by the treasury.
Parliamentarians said accounting mechanisms could be put in place to allow the ZRP to retain some funds, including fines and proceeds from its economic activities.
The MPs added that members of the public have “lost confidence in the service delivery of the ZRP due to increasing cases of indiscipline, especially among junior staff officers within and outside the working environment.”