HARARE – Police have recalled back to work senior officers studying at the police Staff College in preparation for watershed polls set for later this year.
Addressing students at the police Staff College, deputy commissioner-general Levi Sibanda said the country could not risk violent polls simply because officers wanted to further their education levels.
He told all officers in charge of stations, most of who are reading for diplomas in senior management and development studies at the security training institution, that they will have to abandon studies, at least until elections are over.
“We don’t want any mistake this time around. All officers-in-charge of stations who are here will have to go back to their workplaces until elections are over,” said Sibanda.
Sibanda said those recalled are to resume their studies next year when elections are done as police are not taking chances this year after the violent 2008 presidential election runoff.
“Police officers are expected to discharge their duties without fear and favour, and to bring all perpetrators of violence to book regardless of one’s station in life,” said Sibanda.
“We need substantive people at each and every station and not those you appointed to act. I am sorry there is nothing I can do except to send you back to your stations.
“We don’t have an excuse, these people you call lawyers can make things bad for you when you are before the courts.
“We don’t want to take chances, who knows, someone might tamper with election papers. It is the duty of an officer-in-charge to monitor and explain.
“Go back and prepare your stations for this important process,” Sibanda said.
During past elections, police have been accused of not acting against perpetrators of violence especially those from Zanu PF.
Civil society organisations and other opposition political parties have complained about selective application of the law.
Senior officers such as commissioner general Augustine Chihuri have publicly declared their allegiance to President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party and have urged other officers and their families to vote for Zanu PF. – Xolisani Ncube