Home » General » Zimbabwe: Chaos After Mass Beitbridge Police Transfers

The decision to transfer all police officers from Beitbridge was uninformed and insensitive to family unions, affected officers have said.

An estimated 1 000 children have been affected by the development.

Most cops are bitter and did not mince their words as they accused their bosses of being failures who themselves had never been "transferred".

The Zimbabwe Republic Police last week transferred over 600 officers from Beitbridge in a major shake-up suspected to have been triggered by their alleged involvement in corrupt activities and failure to contain the July 1 riots involving cross-border traders.

It is understood police bosses were not amused when their intelligence failed to get wind of the looming demonstrations where cross-border traders torched a Zimra warehouse in protest against a ban on imports of basic goods from South Africa.

Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said the decision to break up Beitbridge police was taken after a government directive to transfer all civil servants based in the border town.

However, the affected police officers feel they were being made sacrificial lambs in an area where other State security apparatus also failed.

The military intelligence and the Central Intelligence Organisation were not affected by the transfers.

The aftermath of the mass police transfer was an administrative boob that left no one in charge at police stations in Beitbridge, sources said.

In the last four days, Beitbridge had no police visibility and ordinarily police-manned points, including boom gates were not manned.

Some police officers spoke of how they were leaving some dockets incomplete in a move that will affect the wheels of justice.

They also said they were at pains as to how they were going to handle their family situations, especially children in schools, considering they were instructed to report to their new stations on Tuesday.

"Most of us have children in schools some who sit for final examinations this year. Who do we leave them with?" one police officer asked.

"In some cases, married couples were deployed to different police stations and which sensible employer does that?"

Most of the affected law enforcement agents said they only took instructions from their bosses during the riots.

"Some of us are juniors and even if we had known anything what could we have done? They should have transferred the bosses first and give us time to sort out our family issues," another police officer said.

He said he was in quandary because two of his children were due to sit for their Grade 7 and Form 4 examinations this year.

The police officers have accused Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo of failing to deal with the situation.

"Our new minister failed to complete several national construction projects when he was with the Local Government and Public Construction ministry and he is trying to correct that with us. He is a failure as well," said another police officer.

A female police officer said she was contemplating resigning from the force because her husband was employed in the private sector in Beitbridge.

"You have to think what comes first your family or this thankless job," she said.

Most of the police officers had invested in a number of projects in the border town and the transfers were a blow to their businesses.

Residents in the border town felt the decision was harsh.

"Police have a life and this treatment will kill their zeal to work," said a resident RabsonMoyo.

Another resident Innocent Meke said if government had been serious like this since 1980, the country could have been free of corruption.

Efforts to contact Chombo were fruitless yesterday.

Source: Zimbabwe Standard