“We want the public to know that police officers should not be beaten up. We have been ordered to instil discipline among the civilians so that they do not continue beating up members of the defence forces, and we are targeting vendors who declared war against us early this week,” a police officer who refused to be identified told Radio VOP.
Early this week police in central Harare clashed with vendors resulting in the injury of one police officer, and the shattering of a police post situated at corner George Silundika and First Street.
There were also reports of police going rampage in Nkayi and assaulted innocent people going about their business.
Co-Minister of Home Affairs, Theresa Makone on Friday condemned the continued police crackdown on civilians, describing as ‘barbaric’.
“Our police force should be the people’s police, guided only by their national obligation to serve the people. It does not bode well for the image of the police if they are seen as being at the forefront of assaulting and harassing people instead of protecting them.”
Makone said as Co-Minister of Home Affairs, she was aware of many professional men and women in uniform whose reputation was being dragged through the mud by those who have chosen to pursue a politically partisan line.
“We all want a professional police force which discharges of its duties professionally. It is a fact that as Co-Minister of Home Affairs, I have not been spared the embarrassment of having my own lawful rallies dispersed by unruly elements while the police watched. This undermines the people’s confidence in the police force,” said Makone.