Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Deputy Minister Michael Madiro has told Parliament that Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) must still do their work diligently even though they do not have enough resources.
The police in Zimbabwe has been giving excuses that they do not have transport or fuel to attend crime scenes or to collect bodies when people die at home and have instead been urging members of the public to provide the resources.
However, answering questions in the National Assembly, on why the police were offloading some of its duties to members of the public, the Deputy Minister said it was wrong for people to assume roles which are supposed to be undertaken by ZRP, or for the police to delegate their roles to members of the public.
“Mr Speaker Sir. Honourable (Miriam) Chikukwa has raised a pertinent question that affects most people but it is not Government policy that the bereaved are responsible for taking the dead or deceased person to the mortuary.
“Government policy provides that the police should go to the place where the person has died, assess, take a statement and then take it to the mortuary and not the bereaved family to do that.
“…The question raised by Honourable Chikukwa is directed to what has happened, which has not yet been received by the responsible authority but it is not Government policy that the work that is supposed to be done by the police is done by other people because there are certain procedures that need to be followed.
“The police are supposed to do their work diligently even in the midst of challenges,” he said.
When asked about what government is doing to capacitate the police so that they can do their work diligently, the Deputy Minister said the government is resource-strained at the moment but is doing all it can to ensure they are resourced.
“Mr Speaker Sir, it is common knowledge that the police force is operating in an environment where resources are not adequate. However, in terms of Government intervention to ameliorate the situation, we have responded to many similar questions where we have put it across and informed this House that the Government is doing everything possible to make sure that ZRP is capacitated.
“In terms of policy, in relation to Honourable Chikukwa’s question on whether it is Government policy for the police to abrogate their responsibilities; it is not Government policy for the police force to off-load their responsibilities on any other organ or citizens in terms of what they are supposed to do.
“It is the responsibility of the police to investigate to ensure that if any person who dies in the house or in their huts in rural areas, it is investigated and they collect the body to the mortuary and not the relatives of the deceased person,” he said.