police officers must support Zanu (PF) and those aligned to other political
parties should resign from the force as they are sell-outs, says Police Ass
Commissioner Gideon Baloyi.
The senior officer in the Police Internal Investigations Headquarters in Harare reportedly made the statement at a ZRP meeting that was turned into a Zanu (PF) campaign rally at Marondera District Police Headquarters last Wednesday.
The ‘rally’ was attended by over 500 police officers drawn from both the regular force and the uniformed Neighbourhood Watch Committee deployed in Marondera rural and central.
“Mupurisa asingadi kutsigira Zanu (PF) zviri nani asiye basa nekuti mutengesi (Any police officer not willing to support Zanu (PF) should resign from the law enforcement agency, since he is a sell-out),” Baloyi reportedly told the gathering.
Sources who attended the event told The Zimbabwean that Baloyi made it clear that coming elections would be ‘do-or-die’ and no party besides Zanu (PF) should win. He warned police officers against voting otherwise, and said their voting pattern would be traced.
The Baloyi ‘rally’ followed a similar gathering convened by police officers’ wives on May 21 at the same venue under the banner of Kuyedza Women’s Club. They were addressed by the club Vice President and wife to Police Commissioner General Chihuri, Isabel Chihuri, at the camp A Mess.
After an open meeting, the media and other ‘suspicious’ people were ordered to leave and make space for a caucus discussion. “The caucus meeting was centred on Zanu (PF) campaigns ahead of coming elections,” said a woman who attended the closed-door meeting.
Police Commissioner-General, Augustine Chihuri, who is Kuyedza president, in January urged wives of police officers attending a leadership workshop in Selous to be patriotic and vote Zanu (PF) in the coming elections.
The Police Act and the new constitution forbid service chiefs from engaging in partisan conduct. Section 208 of the sixth schedule of the new constitution stipulates that: “Neither the security services nor any of their members may in the exercise of their functions act in a partisan manner, further the interests of a political party or cause, prejudice the lawful interests of any political party or cause.”
Marondera District Police spokesperson, Insp Bulisani Bhehbe could neither confirm nor deny the “Baloyi rally” allegations. “I am yet to investigate the event and will come back to you. Is Baloyi a politician who addresses political rallies?” said Bhebhe.Efforts to get comment from Baloyi at his Harare office were fruitless as he was reported to be out on duty.
Baloyi joins Defence Forces Commander General Constantine Chiwenga, Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri and Prisons Chief Paradzai Zimondi, among others, who have openly declared their allegiance to Mugabe and Zanu (PF).
MDC-T has called for the immediate resignation of all members of the security sector who dabble in partisan politics. zimbabwean