POLICE officers based at airports and border posts across the country have been transferred — some to rural areas — in what authorities reportedly said is a fight against corruption at the country’s points of entry.
The police officers had up to yesterday to pack their bags and report at their new stations dotted across the country following a Tuesday directive to transfer them from border posts and airports where they were based, informed sources told Southern Eye.
The directive by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) chief of staff (human resources) Senior Assistant Commissioner Justice Chengeta affects all officers from the rank of officer-in- charge to juniors based at border posts, airports, minerals sections and district
A complete new team of police officers will now be in charge following the directive that has been received with disgruntlement by the affected cops, some of whom have been transferred to the most remote of areas.
The transfers have seen some cops being moved, for example from Plumtree to Mutare, Harare to Madlambuzi, Gwanda to Honde Valley and Mutare to Nkayi, among other areas.
“These transfers came at a cost to us . . . we were unprepared and all of a sudden I am now supposed to look for money to ferry my family and property to the new station,” one disgruntled cop who has been transferred from Beitbridge Border Post, said.
According to police sources, the transfers have been random and targeting all officers, but leaving three to five cops at a border post station or airport waiting for a totally new team.
Police sources said the move is aimed at reducing or fighting corruption at the borders.
There are reports of widespread smuggling at the points of entry with some accounts indicating that the country is losing millions of potential revenue as a result. Last year, a number of traffic police officers were transferred from Avondale Police Station to remote areas over charges of corruption.
Police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi, when contacted for comment yesterday, said: “I have no comment on that issue. Get in touch with Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba.”
Charamba, however, professed ignorance about the matter saying: “I am not aware of the transfers.”
A number of cops have been nabbed recently over corruption charges. According to a research study by Transparency International Zimbabwe in July last year, police officers were named as the most corrupt people in the country.
Charamba early this year said police would continue their fight against corrupt officers, saying a raft of radical internal disciplinary measures and monitoring mechanisms to counter acts of misconduct had been introduced.