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WHO MONITORS COPS?

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It is true that bad news travels faster than good news and we, as human beings, are quick to notice the bad than the good. I don’t support that but it happens. I do, however, want to recommend the good work that is done by our men in blue, at times under difficult conditions.


Their efforts are recommended even though some of the difficult conditions would have been avoided if proper planning was done. One example is that police officers do not have enough accommodation. This could be avoided with proper planning.


Having mentioned proper planning, I will place some of the blame squarely on the leadership of the police service. The leader of the service is always complaining about the accommodation of his juniors, mentioning that it is not enough.


But despite knowing very well that there is lack of accommodation, he is very quick to order that more officers should be recruited. I then wonder where he thinks he will get the accommodation for all the officers that he recruits.


He is the first person to know when structures to house the officers are built and therefore cannot say he is not aware that there is not enough accommodation. I, therefore, blame the leadership of the police service for poor planning and he should be the last to cry about lack of accommodation because that is a self-created problem.


The very same officers whom he recruits in big numbers fail to perform as required or the way they perform is how they are taught at the Police College? In my opinion the police service has behaved very badly at times. The shooting with live ammunition of teachers recently comes to mind.
If such action is reported to international organisations, those reporting are labelled unpatriotic. We are told that the teachers threw stones at the police officers but the question is was the use of live ammunition consummate to what the teachers were using?


I must mention that the behaviour of the teachers is not condoned but police officers should be trained in such a way that they are able to remain calm under such conditions. We are not told that they were in danger and we do not see an alternative means being used to deal with the situation but we see a citizen who happens to be a teacher being shot with a live round.


The teachers have opened a case against the police officer who took the shot but up to today we have not heard of anything being done to that officer but we have seen the opposite happening.


A teacher who is alleged (because he has not been found guilty) to have wrestled a police officer is in court and being tried for that. No one was injured in the wrestling incident but because it was a police officer who was wrestled there was quick action to bring the alleged offender to book.


Again I am not condoning the act of the alleged offender because the police must be respected in their work like they must respect the rights of citizens. The act of the police then brings to my mind the question of who monitors the police. Or they are law unto themselves. And I would respond in the affirmative to this question.
We have had a number of instances where police officers were clearly in the wrong and nothing was done to them. This incident where police officers used excessive force against citizens is not isolated but nothing has been done.
Muzi Mhlanga is a victim of such and nothing has been done to those responsible. We have a Gama guy who was allegedly murdered and we were told that police officers would explain on what really happened but up to date we are not told who those officers were and nothing has been done to them, yet it is clear that to find who those officers were is very easy.
Who will ever forget about the case of Zavale the Mozambican? But up to date no one has been brought to book for his death. But if it was a police officer who died under those circumstances, we would be telling a different story today.
I know that the excuse given in some instances, like the Zavale case, is that there was an inquest that was conducted. But this was not the first inquest and all of them have yielded no positive results and the reports are never made public.
We then wonder why because we are yet to see a police officer being taken to court for being wrong. So there is just no law to monitor the actions of police officers when they act wrongly towards people? Why is it that there is a law against citizens when they act wrongly towards the police? Is there no equality provided by the Constitution of this country?

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