The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) says the ZWL$1.5 billion allocated to the force for the procurement of equipment in the 2023 national budget is not enough considering that the country is headed for general elections next year.
Elliot Ngirande, the ZRP deputy commissioner general, said Treasury allocated ZWL$1.5 billion for the procurement of ammunition, which was far much less than the ZWL$6.8 billion requested by the ZRP.
He made the remarks on Tuesday while addressing the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence and Home Affairs on the 2023 national budget presented last week by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube. Said Ngirande:
Given the impending general elections in the year 2023, the organisation has to adequately prepare for the usual public disorder situations.
… the police service is a critical stakeholder (in the 2023 elections), the proposed budget seeks to ensure that police operations are enhanced in order to achieve a peaceful environment conducive to the conduct of free and fair elections.
The pre-election period is normally associated with a hive of political activity as contesting parties scramble to mobilise support.
Police deployments are anticipated to increase in order to adequately police political gatherings.
This budget item caters for the acquisition of replacement firearms and replenishment of ammunition to adequately equip all Policeestablishments.
Arms and ammunition are a critical component in police duties which include VIP and VVIP guards and escorts, counter insurgents, hostage rescue, and escorts of precious minerals and other valuables, tracking and escorting dangerous and armed criminals, as well as protection of vital installations.
He also revealed that ZESA has switched off electricity supplies to some police stations which are now made to operate in darkness. | NewZimbabwe.com