Zimbabwe female police officers are engaging in prostitution to supplement their meagre incomes, a shock internal police memo revealing the desperate situation has shown.
Poorly paid … Anti-riot police officers stand guard on an empty street on August 2, 2018, in Harare following deadly clashes between security forces and people demonstrating against alleged election fraud, (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Police officers are also participating in illegal activities including gold panning, while some are running private enterprises like hawking, sometimes to criminal gangs in gold fields.
The shock revelations were made by Assistant Commissioner Bazibi Dube, the acting commander of Chikurubi Support Unit.
Dube’s memo comes as police and military commanders have sounded the alarm over growing indiscipline in the security services, as police officers and soldiers pursue money-making schemes, some illegal.
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“This office has learnt with great dismay that there are some members, their spouses and relatives who reside in Chikurubi and other police camps in and around Harare, who visit Mazowe Jumbo Mine for the purposes of vending, illegal panning, prostitution and other illicit activities,” Dube said in the January 3 memo sent to all stations under his command.
The police interaction with criminals was now hampering police operations, he said.
“This office is relentless in its effort to bring these culprits, who also hinder police operations by selling out information on intended operations at the said places, to book. Treat this matter with the seriousness it deserves,” Dube said.
Police raids on gold fields to deal with rampant criminality, including murders, have recently resulted in soldiers being caught up in the dragnet, as army chiefs fear growing indiscipline threatens professionalism in the army.
Police and soldiers are paid barely enough to fill up a tank of a medium size family car with petrol – and many have turned to corrupt activities to survive the harsh economic situation.