Police union dead, buried, says Hillary
MATSAPHA – Police officers were on Thursday advised by their former boss Senator Edgar Hillary never to entertain the idea of forming a police union.
The former police commissioner said the period when the idea of a police union came up was the worst moment in his life.
He said unionism within the police service was definitely not the right way to go thus he hoped that such moves would never come up ever again.
“There were those times in particular, when we were at odds with a certain clique of officers, who even took me to court over a matter which in my staunchest of convictions, I still believe has no place in a disciplined organisation,” Hillary said.
The senator continued: “I am referring here to the issue of a Union. This is however water under the bridge now, and as a father would, I have forgiven my children who were going astray. And I hope the intention of a Union has faded for good, never to ever emerge again.”
The former police chief said he hoped the Prime Minister had solved the issues that some police officers thought could be addressed though a union.
Senator Hillary – Son of the Soil
MATSAPHA – Dignitaries heaped praises on former Police Commissioner Senator Edgar Hillary for having loyally served the country’s police service for over four decades.
When the senator got the chance to speak, albeit at the end, he said the praises were so great he did not believe they were directed at him.
Prime Minister Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini said being Commissioner of Police was a demanding job that had to be carried out diligently and tirelessly and that for Senator Hillary to have held the position for 14 years was a significant achievement.
“During my tenure of the position of Prime Minister for the kingdom, which has included being Minister responsible for the Police, I had the pleasure if working closely with Hillary. His briefing and the manner in which he dealt with issues across a wide spectrum left the clear impression that there was a true professional at work,” the PM said.
The head of government said Hillary’s service in the police force had been outstanding and was a fine example to all serving officers.
Commissioner of Police Isaac Magagula said he was at a loss of words to describe a great man like his predecessor.
“Mr. Hillary can be likened to a battle hardened soldier, whose phenomenal wealth of policing experience and leadership acumen saw him lead the police service as Commissioner with distinction for a period spanning 14 years following his appointment in 1994,” Magagula said.
He stated that Hillary’s visionary leadership shone through as he contributed to the development of the police organisation in many respects including structural developments, operational facilities and operational initiatives.
Army Commander Lieutenant General Sobantu Dlamini described the senator as a man with more than nine lives, a natural gentleman with good spirit and a generous heart.
“We envy and celebrate with those who are now working with him in parliament as they are working with a seasoned, intelligent, loyal, senior citizen,’’ he said.
Zimbabwe Commissioner General of Police Comrade A. Chihuri said one unique element about Senator Hillary was his dedication and commitment to the call of duty.
“He has personal dedication to issues of national interests, to his country and people, and to the regional bloc (SARPCCO). Thus, because of this, he would do anything required of him without any question as long as it addressed the concerns of people,” Chihuri stated.
Magagula was my shock absorber - Hillary
MATSAPHA – Senator Edgar Hillary revealed that he depended on his successor Isaac Magagula for guidance during tough times.
He said when things got tough they would sit in his office bouncing off ideas and praying.
“I also wish to pay tribute to the Executive Command that I worked with, for fully supporting and assisting me in carrying out the responsibilities of my office.
“My Deputy in particular, who is now the Commissioner, was my pillar of strength and I referred to him as my lighting rod or arrestor and shock absorber,” the senator said.
On the other hand, Commissioner Isaac Magagula said on a personal note he had an excellent relationship with Hillary from whom he learnt a lot.
“He fondly referred to me as his shock absorber and lighting arrester. He was the consummate police professional, a strong disciplinarian, no nonsense practically oriented policeman who hated arm-chair management,” Magagula recalled.
He referred to Hillary as a true role model and that he would continue to seek advice from him whenever necessary so as to benefit from his vast reservoir of policing experience.