Zimbabwe Republic Police Commissioner-General Goodwin Matanga has pleaded with the government to urgently provide accommodation for 30 000 police officers who are reportedly renting private accommodation.
Matanga said the current set up is affecting the officers’ execution of their duties at the same time endangering their security. Speaking during his visit to Masvingo police on Thursday last week, Matanga said:
I wish to place on record that, the Zimbabwe Republic Police has only 12 000 housing units that are accommodating 18 760 police officers. Of these, 10 945 are sharing. Resultantly, over 30 000 police officers are renting private accommodation, a situation that compromises the security of our members. It is, therefore, my fervent hope and prayer that Government urgently intervenes.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe also remarked that the shortage of accommodation among police officers was a major concern. He said:
Certainly, resource constraints manifest through an array of challenges, key among them being the shortage of residential and office accommodation, transport and non-payment of travelling and subsistence allowances. The shortage of accommodation which has, unfortunately, resulted in some members seeking private rental accommodation has always been a cause of concern.
This position is unpleasant given that apart from compromising the security of members, it also has huge financial implications. To that end, efforts are being made to ensure police officers and members get decent accommodation.
Kazembe said the government was aware of the challenges the ZRP was facing adding that efforts are being made to improve police effectiveness through the procurement of more operational vehicles.