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Typists, General Hands Get Top Zimbabwe Police Posts

Hundreds of civilians working in the police force as general hands or typists have been deployed at various stations with new ranks ranging from police constables to assistant inspectors without undergoing formal training, according to a report by the independent Newsday newspaper.

Co-Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone told VOA Studio 7 on Tuesday that she will investigate reports that scores of untrained civilians have been recruited into the police force without getting the necessary training.

Makone said this was a cause for concern but stressed that she needed to verify the information first before acting on the reports.

“At this moment I can only say I have been given this information which I intend to act upon … that people are being appointed irregularly,” she said.

The magnitude of the problem is not known though there are indications that the recruitment has caused resentment within members of the police force, who had to undergo rigorous training before being promoted.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police has in recent years been criticized for political bias and massive corruption by rights groups such as Amnesty International and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.

Responding to these allegations, Makoni said: “I really don’t like to talk about the operations of the police. I do not think it’s helpful or wise.”

The minister, who has blasted the police in the past for being unprofessional, said: “ … And right now the information that I have will be passed on to the police leadership to investigate and to give me an answer. If it happens to be true then I will follow the right channels and take corrective action.”

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