By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
Junior police officers are reportedly “openly” refusing “rogue” instructions by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to descend on civilians during peaceful protests.
Former cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo tweeted a report about junior police officers in Plumtree who refused to take orders to thwart mass protests that were slated for the 10th of August.
POLICE OFFICERS SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: As the attached instructive account from Plumtree demonstrates, increasingly, some @PoliceZimbabwe officers on the ground are fed up and are now openly siding with the public and supporting protests!#ZimbabweanLivesMatter #FreeZimbabwe pic.twitter.com/jd4EY5yigB
— Prof Jonathan Moyo (@ProfJNMoyo) August 11, 2020
Police officers are reportedly struggling to make ends meet and are allegedly deciding to join calls by general citizens to demonstrate against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime.
Moyo exposed a report of what transpired at a Plumtree police camp when junior police officers openly communicated their disagreement with being deployed to brutalise innocent citizens.
“Tough Times for Zim national leaders as police officers openly defy rogue instructions: there was chaos at ZRP Plumtree on the 09th of August when ZRP Officer commanding Bulilimamangwe District called all police officers to attend a parade at 1630hrs so that the members get briefed and geared for an operation to thwart demonstrators following a call by opposition parties and civil organisations to be on the streets as from August 10.
“Junior officers who were at the parade made noise thereby telling the sergeant major Shumba who was reading an operation order that they were tired of useless deployments and after all they were being used to heavily descend on innocent civilians yet they are suffering and their children have nothing to eat their homesteads. The junior officers made noise up to the extent that sergeant major Shumba could no longer read the operation order up until senior officers Chief Inspector Mangena Rosemary and Inspector Ndlovu intervened and called the junior officers to order.
“After the briefing parade the junior officers were heard urging each other to incite the civilians on ground to rise and revolt against the government.
“Things are not well within the security officers. Police officers are now openly siding with the public to rise against the government. These police officers are struggling to make ends meet just like civilians in Zimbabwe,” read part of the report.
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi on Wednesday, dismissed claims by Moyo citing it was an attempt to plant seeds of division within the security forces.
“We are concerned that there are some rogue elements that are trying to cause alarm and despondency, giving out false messages to some politicians particularly those who are using social media while outside the country.
“What they portray is not correct or is not the situation obtaining on the ground. If you go to Plumtree right now, there is peace and nothing of that sort happened on the ground. So those members will have themselves to blame once caught,” Nyathi said.
Nyathi added: “The police officers who are doing that for political mileage will have themselves to blame. It’s either they are police officers or they want to be politicians and those who want to be politicians should leave the organisation.
“We are fully aware that they are some rogue elements who are doing that for sinister motives and certainly, certainly the law will catch up with them.”
Riot police in Zimbabwe’s has a record of firing tear gas, beating demonstrators, crackdown on opposition supporters and sometimes the operation involves abduction and torture of the dissent who would have taken to the streets.
Two months ago, presidential aspirant Noah Manyika initiated a petition in which he cautioned soldiers and police against perpetuating Zanu PF’s “destructive” leadership adding that it was illegal for the state security forces to obey illegal and unconstitutional orders from Mnangagwa’s regime.