Mnangagwa must cut loose bad police officers

Mnangagwa must cut loose bad police officers
Published: 25 September 2018 (319 Views)
Government's decision to drive vendors off the streets of the Central Business Districts (CBDs) across the whole country, especially after the outbreak of cholera in Harare, has been generally warmly received by a large cross section of the populace.

Apart from having to curb the spread of cholera, government had plans to decongest the cities and these were activated recently to try and bring order and sanity in the CBD.

However, the genuine attempts to clean up the cities risk being overshadowed by the conduct of some rogue police officers who, at the weekend, went on rampage in Harare, indiscriminately assaulting passers-by.

They also fired tear gas indiscriminately at commuter omnibus ranks before savagely assaulting revellers at night clubs.

In the process, they reignited the ugly memories of the savage State brutality that was witnessed on a daily basis during the despotic rule of ousted former president Robert Mugabe.

These brutal acts are a flagrant violation of people's rights and must not be tolerated in a country whose political leadership has promised to break with Mugabe's past.

What is so disconcerting about these unlawful and barbaric acts is the fact that they fly in the face of public pronouncements of both President Emmerson Mnangagwa and new police commissioner general Godwin Matanga — who have preached messages of peace and a new dispensation in the country.

We are compelled to agree with some police insiders who told our sister publication — the Daily News On Sunday at the weekend — that there were "clearly some residual elements within the police force who are still employing old methods which taint the force's professional image".

It is becoming clear that both Mnangagwa and Matanga need to  further get rid of rogue elements within the police force to achieve the much-needed change consistent with a new dispensation.

The behaviour of these rogue police officers serves to undermine Mnangagwa's and Matanga's efforts to make the Second Republic an acceptable place for all to live.

Isn't it jarring that at a time Mnangagwa has sworn-in a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the violence and army shootings of August 1, we have police officers savaging people on the streets without any slightest form of provocation?

What is the motive for this when the country's leadership is trying to get rid of the "bad boy" tag that has stalked Zimbabwe for several decades?

The ongoing brutal acts by police are undermining Mnangagwa's government and there is need to cut loose residual elements that remain in the force.

- dailynews

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