The collapse of the Zimbabwe Republic Police
If you are old enough to remember a period where everything worked in Zimbabwe – electricity, public transport and 100% of employable adults – you will remember a bygone era in which the police where respected. When the ten years of hyperinflation and commodity shortages began circa 2000, the once respected police uniform was characterised by frayed shirt collars, torn boots and pockets that had an insatiable hunger for fleecing motorists.
Collapse of the police force
When Zimbabwe Republic Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri fell over and blamed his tight clothes, the more cynical citizens said he summed up the state of the police force; collapsed.
Watch a Zimbabwean cop, unable to walk, as a result of being too drunk – or, if you are an optimist, due to tiredness after a long shift fighting crime.
The government of President Mugabe has blamed all its shortcomings on “illegal Western sanctions”. A shrewd advocate may explain the shoddy police uniform and shortage of patrol cars on lack of funding caused by “sanctions”. But even the most cunning lawyer would be hard-pressed to attribute “Western sanctions” to police indiscipline.
It is a question that has been asked before but one which is worth reiterating: who will police the police?
My pen is capped