Zimbabwe Under The Patriotic Front: Series 11: Third Way News
By Andrew Nyathi
I am not a man of jokes or scoring cheap points where matters of national interest are at stake and this week I saw the picture of what is essentially two Zimbabwe Republic Police officers riding on a scotch-cart on a dusty road somewhere deep in the districts of Zimbabwe.
It’s unclear where they were coming from or where they were going, or indeed any matter of facts of the circumstances.
All I know is that the picture is flying on social media – and everyone is having a laugh at our police – the people who we turn to first where-ever or whenever we need to report a crime, an emergency, accident or any form of threat, harm, community disorder, or where-ever we need police.
The irony of the police riding on a scotch-cart is not lost – and the perceptions are plenty to draw from that picture – no matter its origins or authenticity of circumstance.
Fundamentals of service and defence
Governance is simpler than we are made to believe.
Defending the people is equally another matter. In my series for this newspaper – The Sunday Express – I touch base this week on the fundamentals of the security clusters.
Defence of the nation is basically about two fundamental things: namely: protection and information.
Protection also takes two levels, namely: service and defence.
The soldiers take up the defence while police take up the services.
The Zimbabwe Defence Force is currently operating as separate unco-ordinated entity whose task is to protect the political status quo – rather than protect the people of Zimbabwe as a whole.
They are involved in all sorts of scandals and corrupt activities, even in business. They are above the law and above everyone. They are the law unto themselves.
The Zimbabwe National Army has never known themselves as servants and defenders of the people.
For the first time under our governance basics of military and protection will be introduced with corresponding care for the uniformed servant of the people.
First of all, they are answerable to a person instead of institutions of the state, namely the parliament and the executive arms of the state.
The Commander–in–chief – acting like a person and not an institution – can declare war without reference to people’s representatives in parliament.
This creates a false idea that the person is more important to them than the governance institutions.
Hence we fought in Mozambique and DRC for no known interests to Zimbabwe. Some became instantly rich, to no surprise to the clear citizens.
Zimbabwe National Army is in desperate need for reform and renewal both in terms of ideological outlook and physical capability.
Under our rule, the ZNA must be a force that must be the envy of the nation and people must feel good when associating with them.
Zimbabwe Defence Force has been turned into intimidation machines of one man and one party. They strike fear in the minds and hearts of citizens. They protect one man and one party.
Zimbabwe Security Police Service:
Let us look briefly at Zimbabwe Republic Police. Currently, the ZRP falls under Home Affairs which we believe is not appropriate, how can we put birth certificates, together with policing? But also we need to look at capacitating the ZRP, logistics, vehicles, basic policing equipment.
Hence the picture that I have used for this week’s illustration. Should our police be coming by donkey cart to a crime scene?
What other proof do we need to see – for us to know that our police are not only poorly resourced – but also the proper placement in the governance structure.
Security should fall within the Police / Security ministry for effective service to the citizens.
The ZPS will operate as an entity within the Police and Security Ministry just as the Army and Air Force.
The structure of the Zimbabwe Defence Force and the Zimbabwe Police and Security needs review and changing and modernisation in order to meet the needs of modern society.
The army, the air force, police service and other security organs of Zimbabwe will be retrained and reoriented with the view to changing their allegiance away from persons to the constitution of Zimbabwe.
Those who have served longer than necessary years will be retired so that the force and service is in the hands of energetic Zimbabweans. Commanders cannot serve over years and years in the same position before they retire.
The equipment and the training institutions will be modernised in line with world developments and progress so that the force and service is delivered with enhanced skills and with efficiency.
Soldiers and Police are the ultimate confidence and safety of all citizens including our visitors.
Soldiers Engaged in Economic Development programme will be rolled out in order to ensure that soldiers are not just paid for saluting each other but must meaningfully engage themselves into the development agenda of the country and acquire other necessary skills.
Soldiers with their capacity, during peace times, will be engaged in the resuscitation of the broken infrastructure, especial the health sector, transport sector, bridges, education sector, etc.
Soldiers will be taught skills that would help the country develop but also help them after they retire from the force or service into civilian life.
This will also make everybody realise that soldiers are part of society.
Zimbabwe Defence Force outlook:
Zimbabwe Defence Force outlook will remain the extension of Zimbabwe internal developmental agenda and so – will not be involved in any aggression of any of our neighbours or country as we shall pursue a policy of non-aggression and peaceful co-existence.
Peacekeeping missions will be pursued as sanctioned by bodies like SADC, AU or UN. The uniformed patriots cannot establish or pursue personal business interests internally or in other countries at all costs. Those who want to do business will be allowed to retire so that they pursue their dreams.
The security organ that deals with intelligence and safety of citizens and the state, namely CIO will be renamed National Intelligence Organisation (NIO) to break with the past bad era of a Junta type force.
The people of Zimbabwe need to entrust their security and safety in the hands of a professional and efficient force and service.
Those who serve within security spheres should be detribalised and deracialised in every sense so that they work as a unit protecting the same people they come from.
To be continued next week.
Andrew Nyathi is Secretary-General of The Patriotic Front. The views and communication expressed do not necessarily represent the editorial position of The Sunday Express.
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