Give the security sector resources
A COUNTRYis as strong as its security apparatus. If its police, army, intelligence and prison services are incapacitated operationally due to lack of resources, manpower and equipment, it is as good as dead.
Anyone big or small can attack the country and usurp its sovereignty and territorial space. You cannot call yourself a self-respecting nation without a well-equipped police force and army to fight crime, guarantee peace and security and above all maintain law and order.
Zimbabwe’s security sector is the envy of many in the region and internationally because of its well- trained officers and its ability and capacity to handle any situation.
This has guaranteed both stability and security for the people, major prerequisites for the promotion of development, investment and progress. No one wants to invest in a country which is a playing field for criminals, susceptible to invasion by even the weakest neighbour.
Elsewhere in this issue we carry a disturbing story in which the Co-Minister of Home Affairs, Cde Kembo Mohadi, is accusing his Finance counterpart Tendai Biti of deliberately underfunding the Zimbabwe Republic Police to cripple its operations. The co-minister, therefore, vowed that police will not remit all the money they raise through fines to Treasury but retain some for operations.
“Yes, we are not remitting everything we collect from various fines to Treasury. We are always left with a retention allowance that we use for operational costs and other necessities. We have realised that without doing that we could have long been grounded if we were to wait and solely depend on him. The police’s budgetary allocation is too small for the work expected of them and the retention fee, though still not enough, is playing a critical role in filling in the gap,’’ said Cde Mohadi.
Under these circumstances we agree with Cde Mohadi that we cannot allow our police operations to be ground because Minister Biti wants money from fines. It is unthinkable to fathom a situation where police wake up without fuel, without vehicles without equipment? It is for this reason that the Government should allocate more resources to our police and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. This business where you find Government allocating cars to non-critical sectors, denying our security sector is dangerous. The most unroadworth vehicles you find on our roads belong to our security sector and one wonders how Government expects police and the army to respond to emergencies or an attack without equipment.
When robbers strike we all phone the police but we have not bothered to ask the question, how do they get to my house in the middle of the night?
Denying police funds is shooting ourselves in the foot and the consequences are too ghastly to contemplate.
Minister Biti should therefore attend to the resource requirements of our security sector without delay. Zimbabwe is endowed with mineral resources such as gold, and diamonds that have put us under spotlight by imperialists.
Incapacitating our security system is tantamount to inviting our enemies to come and play soccer at Sakubva Stadium. We need to buy vehicles and other equipment for the police so that they can carry out their mandates of fighting crime and maintaining law and order. They cannot do that if we incapacitate them.
It is not fair to even expect police to rely on fines for their operational requirements of all things when we are paying heavy taxes to Treasury.
This country is at risk if we underfund the security sector. We demand that Minister Biti prioritise police and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces to buy their requirements as a matter of urgency. This business of battered vehicles that we always see on our roads is not on. What is ironic is that while this is happening Government is buying expensive Range Rovers, Land Cruisers and Mercedes Benz for ministers. The Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee has better cars than the police and we wonder what Jomic will do without the police when violence erupts. Give the security sector resources.