The Zimbabwe Republic Police is the country's law enforcing and maintaining organ. It was established in 1980 evolving from the Rhodesian Police and incorporated members from both the Rhodesian and the nationalist forces. It operates under the Ministry of Home Affairs.[1]

Zimbabwe Republic Police
Trading name
Zimbabwe Republic Police
Formerly called
Rhodesian Republic Police
Type
Government
Industry Security, Defence
Founded 1980
Headquarters P G H Q 196D FIFE AVE Harare, Harare, Zimbabwe
Key people
Augustine Chihuri, Retired Police Commissioner
Godwin Matanga, Acting Police Commissioner
Parent Ministry of Defence
Footnotes / references
Office Hours
Everyday- 24 hours Contact Number 04 725559

Contents

Evolution

The Zimbabwe Republic Police was formed as part of the implementation of the Lancaster House Agreement which stipulated that a new police force was to be formed by a new government after the elections in 1980.[2]

Recruitment

The Police force recruits Zimbabwean citizens from all social, economic and religious backgrounds. The recruits must be physically and mentally sound. The pre-requisite academic requirement is 5 Ordinary Level passes including Mathematics and English language.[3]

Key Roles

  1. Enforcement of Law and Order
  2. Maintaining peace and stability.
  3. Apprehending Criminals
  4. Investigating crime
  5. Arresting criminals and suspects
  6. Protecting state and individual Property
  7. Educating the civilians about security[2]

Structure

The police force operates under the directorship of a Commissioned General. The Commissioner General reports to the Minister of Home Affairs and other superior state officials. One of the long-serving Commissioners is Augustine Chihuri.

Ranks in their Order

  1. Commissioner- General
  2. Deputy- Commissioner General
  3. Commissioner
  4. Senior Assistant Commissioner
  5. Assistant Commissioner
  6. Chief Superintendent
  7. Superintendent
  8. Chief Inspector
  9. Inspector
  10. Assistant Inspector
  11. Sergeant Major
  12. Sergeant
  13. Police Cadet[4]

Depots

The Zimbabwe Republic Police is headquartered in Harare at the Police Headquarters popularly known as the PGHQ. It has numerous branches and outposts located all over the country in both urban and rural areas. Each station is supervised by an Officer in Charge.

Special Units

Anti Stock theft

The Anti-stock Theft Unit was established in November 2004, after realizing that there was a need to build the national herd in line with government's policy of reviving the national economy. Historically, livestock have been the source of an African man's pride. Cattle are a symbol of wealth; they provide draught power as well as generate the much needed foreign currency through beef exports.

Structure of Anti Stock Theft Unit

The unit is headed by a Senior Assistant Commissioner who is the National Co-coordinator Anti-stock theft based at Police General Headquarters. It has provincial and district teams that are headed by Provincial Anti-Stock Theft Coordinators and District Anti-Stock Theft Co-ordinators respectively who co-ordinate anti-stock theft activities in their respective areas. There are also station anti-stock theft teams at every station throughout the country who are responsible for investigating stock theft dockets at their respective stations.

Canine Unit

The ZRP Canine Section is responsible for breeding and training of police dogs. Over the years, police dogs have proved to be effective in crime prevention and investigation of crime scenes where they are mainly used for;

The ZRP Canine section has made remarkable achievements in the fight against crime and has since been decentralized to strategic provincial/district headquarters.

Criminal Investigation Department

CID Scenes of Crime section is responsible for evidence gathering by scientifically examining crime scenes, gathering fingerprint evidence and linking suspects to crimes that would have been committed.

CID Property investigates and detects serious cases of Unlawful Entry, Theft and vandalism of property particularly from public utilities.

This is a section responsible for electronic classification and vetting of fingerprints. The section also has an electronic database of all criminals that would have been fingerprinted. AFIS [Automated Fingerprint Identification System] was introduced by the Organisation for easy and quick fingerprint searching and vetting.

This is a specialised section that deals with cases involving drug abuse and trafficking. Drug abuse impacts negatively on individuals, society and the economy. Maintaining a healthy workforce ensures productivity in the country.


CID Serious Frauds is a specialised section that deals with high profile cases of theft where there is an element of misrepresentation. The section has a cyber crime team to deal specifically with the scourge of computer-generated crimes. The professional handling and reduction of fraud cases builds public and investor confidence thereby enhancing economic growth.

The vehicle Theft Squad is a specialised section that deals with cases of theft and robbery of motor vehicles. The section is also responsible for the clearing of motor vehicles for various purposes that include:

CID Homicide is a specialised section that deals with high profile cases of robbery and murder where life is threatened or lost through the use of lethal weapons.


The International Criminal Police Organisation (ICPO) popularly referred to as Interpol is an international police organisation that deals with transnational crime. The organisation has a membership of 191 countries and Zimbabwe is a member. Each member country has a National Central Bureau (NCB) which deals with transnational crimes. The other roles of NCB include:

The NCB has the following desks

Cycle Patrol Unit

The Cycle Patrol Unit was introduced in the ZRP in August 2003 and is the brainchild of the Commissioner General of Police Comrade Doctor Augustine Chihuri. The main thrust behind the establishment of such a Unit was to reduce criminal activities in the cities and towns,streets, roads and avenues.

The Unit was commissioned by Cde. Dr. Chihuri at Morris Depot on the 14th of November 2003. The pioneer project commenced with 55 riders, five of whom were ladies and were deployed in Harare and Bulawayo.

The joining of the Police Cycle Unit is on a voluntary basis.

Recruits undergoing initial police training are co-opted for Training and after passout are deployed to undertake Cycle Patrol Unit duties.

The ZRP is now a member of Zimbabwe Triathlon Association and Zimbabwe Cycling Association. These association give expert advise in terms of training, dress order and acquisition of appropriate cycles.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF CYCLE SQUADS

Forensics & Ballistics

The Forensic Science Laboratory Unit is housed at the Criminal Investigation Department Headquarters in Harare. This is a highly specialized technical unit of the Zimbabwe Republic Police whose function is to aid police investigations through analyzing exhibits and giving expert conclusive evidence on crime scenes.

The unit is manned by highly qualified forensic scientists, and has the following sub-sections;

The Section analyses a wide range of biological evidence for example samples of blood, semen, saliva, sweat derived from cases of murder, rape, stock-theft, etc.

The Criminalistics area brings together a pool of scientists dealing with microscopy, tool marks, paints, glass, fibres and hairs analyses etc. The section also examines evidence of hair, fibres, gunshot residue, bullets, cartridges and metals.

This section analyses minute to complex toxicological evidence (pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and other poisons), arson accelerants, explosives and explosive ordinances, blood alcohol, controlled drugs etc.

The Document Examination Section uses application of advanced analytical techniques in the analysis of hand-writing, signatures, indented impressions, alterations, erasures, obliterations, type writer, printed documents etc.

Mounted Unit

The Zimbabwe Republic Police Mounted Unit plays a critical role by conducting crime prevention patrols especially in remote and rough terrains where motor vehicles cannot maneouver their way. In urban centres, horses are also used in crowd control situations and ceremonial duties. Horses provide that added advantage of height and visibility to allow police riders to observe a wider area and this helps to deter crime.

Roles of Mounted Unit

Sub Aqua Unit

The Sub-Aqua is a specialized police unit responsible for policing water bodies. The Unit aids crime investigations by retrieving bodies in cases of drowning and recovering exhibits concealed in water bodies. The Sub-Aqua Unit is located in two Support Unit districts, namely Chikurubi Depot in Harare and Fairbridge District in Bulawayo

Support Unit

The Support Unit is a branch within the Zimbabwe Republic Police. Its headquarters are in Chikurubi, Harare. It is commanded by an Officer of the rank of Senior Assistant Commissioner, who is responsible for the day-to-day administrative and the operational efficiency of the Unit.

The Support Unit has four Districts i.e. Chikurubi Urban, Chikurubi Rural,Fairbridge (Bulawayo) Buchwa (Zvishavane) and Changadzi.


Tourism Unit

Tourism Police Unit was established in 2004 as a community policing initiative to proactively deal with crimes perpetrated against tourists. The Unit was first launched at Victoria Falls as a pilot project but it has since cascaded to other tourist resort centres like the Great Zimbabwe Monuments, Chinhoyi Caves and Kariba Dam.

Tourism Police officers are also found in all the country's entry and exit points and identifiable through their reflective vests inscribed ZRP Tourism Police Unit.

National Traffic Branch

The National Traffic Branch is committed to providing a road policing service which embraces enforcement and education aimed at enhancing public safety

Victim Friendly Unit

The Victim Friendly Unit was established in 1996 primarily to proactively and reactively police crimes of sexual nature committed against women and children in a manner sensitive to the victim. The Unit aims to be supportive of victims and to make the environment conducive, private and friendly. It further aims to be empathetic, meticulous, professional, expeditious, and maintain confidentiality when handling victims of sexual abuse. Protection of victims who have suffered or who are at the risk of suffering serious harm and ensuring that all reasonable efforts are made to safely maintain children in their own homes once abuse or neglect has been discovered or disclosed is one of its aims.

The Unit has also joined hands with other stakeholders in the multi-sectoral management of child abuse. Various methods of giving information on abuse whilst remaining anonymous like suggestion boxes and hotlines are also being marketed. In addition, victims are encouraged to report their cases direct to Victim Friendly Unit Coordinators who are found at each and every station.

Victim Friendly Unit Co-coordinators are trained to deal with victims in a professional, private and confidential manner. The issue of respect is highly regarded. The Victim Friendly Unit offers counselling to victims of sexual abuse in conjunction with its other partners in the multi-sectoral approach.

The Victim Friendly Unit is a source of hope for vulnerable victims who for decades have been prohibited by social attitudes, insensitivity and lack of professional handling on the part of the police.

Since the establishment of the Unit, a remarkable increase has been realized in the reported number of cases of sexual abuse. This is attributable to the fact that members of the public have generally been conscientised and now discern what constitute an abuse and also another reason is that of the availability of good reporting system and the sensitivity of those receiving the reports


International Duties

Deployment of Staff to AFCON

In January 2015, the ZRP sent its forces to Equatorial Guinea in west Africa for the providing of VVIP protection at the Africa Cup of Nation games. This gesture was part of the requirements by all AFCON member states to sent some personnel who will assist in the successful hosting of the games. The ZRP has also carried a number of regional and international duties on the continent and these include the United Nations peace-keeping missions in countries such Sudan. The security contingent was sent off by Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces General Constantine Chiwenga at a ceremony held in Harare.

Criticism

The force has been criticised of massive corruption. The traffic department which collects fines from motorists has been accused of milking local motorists as well as charging exorbitant fines to traffic offenders.


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References

  1. , Data on Zimbabwe - President, Prime Minister & Ministries, Ministers & Deputy Ministers, Mass Public Opinion Institute,Retrieved:1 Jul 2014"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), Retrieved:1 Jul 2014"
  3. , Mutual co-operation vital — Chihuri, The Herald, published:22 Jan 2014,Retrieved:1 Jul 2014
  4. , RANK INSIGNIA - POLICE & SECURITY,retrieved:1 Jan 2014