The Sunday News
MASVINGO City Council municipal police are understaffed and poorly resourced for them to maintain any semblance of order in the country’s oldest town, officials have said.
The section has around 100 officers and does not have vehicles to carry out duties such as commonage patrols, vending and traffic control.
According to the minutes of the Health, Housing and Environmental Services Committee, the section has 22 untrained guards, creating a serious security risk for the city.
“The section comprises of Acting Chief Security Officer, five Sergeants, four Corporals, 53 constables, 16 trained guards and 22 contract guards against its establishment of 110 police officers. However, the section is still critically short staffed and is also inadequately materially resourced in terms of mobility.
The requested two police dogs are yet to be purchased. The two dog handlers are operating without uniform since the request for their uniforms has not been responded to. It was reported that the section had no adequate vehicle for operational duties that is for vending, commonage patrol and traffic,” reads part of the minutes.
It was reported that the section was conducting continuous joint operations with other stakeholders such as Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), Vehicle Inspectorate Department (VID), Housing, Health, Debt Collection Unit and the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) in decongesting the city, shop licensing blitz, traffic enforcement, push carts, illegal garages in town and vending activities.
In September, the section attended to 1 030 violations in the commonage and raised a total of US$12 820.
Meanwhile, the city fathers are set to embark on a blitz to remove vendors from illegal sites.
“On illegal vending in the city, it was reported that council would conduct a joint blitz with the Zimbabwe Republic Police to remove the vendors from illegal sites. It was suggested and agreed that the vendors be given advance notice to vacate the illegal sites before the blitz could be undertaken.
“On illegal food selling points in the city, it was highlighted that three notices to vacate the places would be issued consecutively at seven-day intervals so that further measures would be enforceable in terms of the Shop Licences Act Chapter 14.17.” (source: Newziana)