Police set up special unit for elections

THE Zimbabwe Republic Police has set up a special investigations unit for the forthcoming harmonised elections to deal with election-related crime, including violence, before, during and after the electoral process.

Police have stressed that they will deal with any violence, regardless of where it arises or which supporters start it.

All police officers are being trained to maintain public order with three quarters having completed the course while the final quarter is scheduled to finish by the end of this month.

The unit will be operating across the country and reporting directly to Police General Headquarters.

Speaking during a press discussion on Zimbabwe’s electoral preparedness organised by the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists recently, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said they are conducting public order training for their officers throughout the country.

“So far we have trained about 75 percent of the police officers as we prepare for the upcoming elections and we hope that by the end of April 2023, we would have concluded the training exercise.

“The Commissioner-General of Police has also set up a ZRP elections committee to co-ordinate the deployment of police officers at all polling stations to make sure that peace is maintained at these polling stations. I also want to assure the country that we have got enough police officers to deploy at polling stations.”

He said people should desist from violence and maintain peace before, during and after elections.

“The Commissioner-General of Police has set up a special investigations unit to be deployed throughout the country to deal with reports of criminal acts related to elections and this includes alleged violence,” he said.

“So far, as the Zimbabwe Republic Police, we have arrested people from across the board, from all political parties. We want to urge political parties to rein in their supporters. The supporters should promote peace wherever they are. An election is not a war.

“It is a contest which will come to an end, but life will continue, so Zimbabweans must know that. So far the environment in the country is very peaceful and we want to thank Zimbabweans for maintaining peace. The Zimbabwe Republic Police is ready for the upcoming elections and we appeal to the public to report any form of violence.”

Asst Comm Nyathi said perpetrators of violence will be arrested and prosecuted irrespective of political affiliation.

“We have made it clear that we will arrest anyone who engages in any form of violence irrespective of one’s political stature and that is a fact and we will be guided by that,” he said. –The Herald

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