By Andile Tshuma
Government has directed security forces not to buy mealie-meal from shops while in uniform as they will access the product from their cantonments.
Police officers were last week banned from buying mealie-meal while on duty.
This follows a public outcry that some police officers were abusing their position while on duty controlling mealie-meal queues around the country to unfairly access the product.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the development in an interview yesterday.
He said the mealie-meal scheme has also been extended to other members of the uniformed forces, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services.
He said the Zimbabwe Republic Police has put in place measures to ensure that police officers access mealie-meal at cantonment canteens.
“Arrangements are being made for police officers to get mealie-meal at canteens. This is an arrangement for the uniformed forces, not police alone, the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correction Services are also benefitting from the same facility, Zimbabwe Defence Forces members are also benefitting. This is a programme which we hope will benefit all officers,” said Asst Com Nyathi.
Asst Comm Nyathi urged police officers to shun corruption and said any officers found on the wrong side of the law face disciplinary hearings as provided in the Police Act and the Criminal Law and Codification Act.
“For example, in Bulawayo, as we speak, there are deliveries of mealie-meal which are being made so that officers can access mealie-meal from Ross Camp.
This is meant to ensure that they focus on their work while implementing lockdown enforcement measures and that they do not mix and stampede with civilians who will be waiting for mealie-meal in queues. This is effective since last week,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
“We do not condone acts of corruption, criminality. If there are any officers out there who try to take advantage of the situation, the law will take its course.
“We urge the public to bring objective reports as some of the reports are exaggerated, but we will investigate each report. If there is any wrong doing, action will be taken.
“We want to caution the public against circulating false messages which at the end of the day tarnish the image of the police force,” he said.
Asst Comm Nyathi urged police officers to exhibit exemplary conduct during the lockdown period. The Chronicle