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Disgruntled cops stage uniform protests


JUNIOR police details are showing up at this year’s independence celebrations inspection parades wearing clothes that do not match in a planned protests to express their disgruntlement against the escalating shortage of uniforms within the force.

It has since been established that police commanders in Harare were last week forced to abandon an inspection parade ahead of Thursday’s independence celebrations after it emerged that the details were improperly dressed, NewsDay heard yesterday.

According to the reports, some police details reported for parade wearing civilian shoes after reportedly going for more than three years without receiving new pairs of the footwear.

The police was preparing to be part of the provincial independence celebration parade.

The Harare parade, which consisted of members of the police, Zimbabwe National Army, Air Force of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services, exposed the magnitude of police uniform shortages as their colleagues were reportedly smartly dressed.

Sources told NewsDay that as the inspection began, senior police officers only inspected three members before leaving in a huff expressing disappointment at the way the rest of the details were dressed.

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“We then proceeded into the square, and an army commander also questioned the manner in which we were dressed and he skipped the police detachment,” the sources said.

A senior police officer told NewsDay that they had been advised that the shortage of uniforms was as a result of unavailability of the material that is used in making the garments.

“The challenge of shortages of uniforms has been overlooked for long because the cops have been covering it up,” the senior police officer said.

“They have been asking for uniform items such as shirts, skirts, belts and others from among themselves. On special inspections for State events, the one without a belt or shoes, or even trousers would ask another and they would show up at the parade smartly dressed.

“But this time, they are singing a different tune. They are not borrowing. They are coming dressed in what they have and it’s not looking good.”

The police was last year forced to postpone a pass-out parade for the 2023 recruits due to a shortage of uniforms.

The recruits have since been deployed to their respective work stations before the pass-out.

Contacted for comment, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the uniform issue was being addressed.

“The uniform issue was being addressed in phases,” he said.

“We have the grand parade where national activities take place, and we have the provincial parade, but the uniforms are currently being sewn.

“By tomorrow (today) morning, most provinces would have their uniform issue addressed. It was a few provinces that had uniforms that were outstanding, but it was a work in progress, not to say members were told there was not going to be any new uniform. As for Harare, by tomorrow (today), all the uniform issues would have been addressed.”

Police details accuse their bosses of neglecting them as their working conditions continue to deteriorate while bosses enjoy hefty salaries and other perks from the employer.

Police have over the years decried under-funding from their employer, government.


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