HARARE – The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has been failing to pay more than 500 recruits since June last year, Parliament has been told.
Parliament’s Home Affairs and Security Service portfolio committee member, Oliver Mandipaka, said lack of financial support from government was hindering police operations.
“Our committee was disturbed to learn that 527 new ZRP graduates went without pay since June 2016, despite the fact that they were recruited within the approved establishment,” he said.
“This situation has resulted in the ministry looking for funds from amenities to pay the ZRP graduates — a situation which is not sustainable,” Mandipaka said.
The police is also failing to settle its debt which has now ballooned to nearly a million dollars.
“ZRP has outstanding payments amounting to $429 968 required to settle bills for Zimbabwe International Trade Fair ($60 000), Heroes Commemoration ($20 000) and procurement of uniform material ($349 968).”
“Moreover, the ZRP alone has another outstanding debt amounting to $63 million owed to service providers like Zesa, Zinwa and TelOne and it dates back to the year 2009,” Mandipaka said.
“The debt has since tarnished the image of the ministry and working relations between the ministry and service providers.
“This has negatively affected the capacity of the ministry to acquire other goods and services on credit and will grossly paralyse the ministry’s operations in 2017, hence requires attention,” he said.
ZRP is looking into buying new equipment to stop the issue of social media abuse.
“Following violent protests and abuse of social media networks, ZRP initiated a CDMA trunked radio project in 2014 to avoid interrupted communication and to lower the cost of communication service rendered by private sector players,” Mandipaka said.
“This needs to be completed before the 2018 general elections.
“However, our committee noted that this project was not prioritised in the 2017 budget allocation despite the long lag time required to implement it.
“The Forensic Science Laboratory which is housed in the CID headquarters needs to be fully equipped with modest technical equipment and chemicals, all of which are very expensive.
“Out of a bid of $3,2 million needed to cover initial capital equipment Treasury allocated only $400 000, which is grossly inadequate.
“The capitalisation of the Forensic Science Laboratory is important since it helps to bring tangible evidence in cases which require forensic science investigations.
“This is also important to clear the backlog of such cases like murder and rape filed with ZRP and the courts of law. The costs of outsourcing services for DNA tests will also be reduced.”
Mandipaka further said “similarly, the Immigration Department needs to install iris scanners at all major ports and fully computerise the ports to reduce revenue leakages.
“However, such expenditure items cannot be financed given that immigration is still under the $100 000 retention fund allocation which is inadequate.”
The Buhera West Zanu PF MP added that the Home Affairs ministry failed to complete various projects in 2016 due to financial challenges.
“Ministry has two high priority projects which were not completed during the first half of 2016 due to non-release of funds and unavailability of the right materials for their completion. These projects include the CID headquarters and Central Registry building.
“Central Registry building is yet to be occupied because there are some outstanding works yet to be done such as network cabling for the Public Finance Management System (PFMS). The 2017 allocation has no provision for these important expenditure items.
“In addition, ZRP has targeted to purchase and install a search engine for an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) so that the force can move away from the less inefficient manual system.
“A total of $9,6million is needed for that but Treasury allocated a paltry $4,2million which is inadequate, hence the search engine will not be purchased, and the AFIS cannot be operationalised,” he said.