THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has re-deployed close to 500 officers from Beitbridge district to other stations outside Matabeleland South province following a Government directive.
Only a handful of officers from the Police Protection Unit and Law and Order sections were spared in the massive reshuffle.
Other Government departments in the border town, national police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said yesterday, are also set to be affected by the directive.
The massive redeployment of the police officers comes just a few weeks after an angry mob torched a Zimbabwe Revenue Authority warehouse during violent protests that rocked the border town over the implementation of Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016.
SI 64 of 2016 removed the importation of listed goods, mostly basic commodities, furniture and building material under the open general import licence.
Sources yesterday told The Chronicle that the transfers were linked to rampant corruption and the manner in which police handled the violent protests in the border town in July.
State Security Minister Kembo Mohadi, at the time of the protests, blasted the police for failing to contain the situation on time despite having vital information which they could have used to prevent the violent protests.
Yesterday, Senior Asst Comm Charamba said there was nothing unusual about the transfers, describing them as a routine exercise.
“This was a Government decision to move everyone from Beitbridge. It’s not only the police who have been moved, I understand other Government departments will be affected as well and there is nothing unusual about that,” she said.
“It’s a routine exercise to move people from one station or section to another. There is absolutely no scandal. How can the whole district commit a scandal?”
The only senior officer who was not affected by the transfers is Assistant Commissioner Ali Hondo.
The Officer Commanding Beitbridge District, Chief Superintendent Patrick Majuta, will swap posts with Chief Supt Martin Makusha, the former Officer Commanding Gweru District.
Explaining why Asst Comm Hondo was left out of the transfers, Snr Asst Comm Charamba said: “We didn’t deploy one senior officer and we cannot tell you why we didn’t transfer him because it’s up to us to decide”.
According to an internal radio communication from the ZRP commissioner (human resources) under RDO JC 345/16 DD16/08/16, the transfers are with immediate effect.
The cops were transferred to various parts of the country outside Matabeleland South and replaced by those from other provinces. chronicle