The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has reportedly urged all its estimated 50 000 officers to buy Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri’s recently published book at a staggering price of $100 per copy.
Titled The History of Policing in Zimbabwe, the book was part of Chihuri’s thesis for his doctorate at Mount Carmel Institute of Business Intelligence.Police sources said the directive to buy the book was to ostensibly enable them to “understand the history of the police and how to go about our work” in a project where Chihuri is assured of raking in no less than $4 million from his subordinates.
According to police insiders, ordinary officers — from constables to chief inspectors — were being “asked” to buy the book at $100 each. Samantha Chihuri also launched her publication – Chaotic – on the same day as the police boss’ book.
Samantha is Chihuri’s daughter.
The ZRP has over 50 000 members, with more than 5 000 of them being commissioned officers from the rank of superintendent to commissioner-general.The insiders said commissioned ranks were being told to “show your appreciation for the boss by paying more”.
“If you don’t have money, our provincial and district commanders are advising us that we make a payment plan so that we all have the book. This is being done under the guise that it is aimed at helping us as police officers to appreciate the history of the organisation as well as support the boss,” a source revealed.
However, ZRP national spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba yesterday dismissed the reports as “an outright lie”.“It’s a lie I can tell you. A total lie! There is nothing like that. In the police, we use radios as a way of communicating whatever we want to communicate. Can your source tell you who originated that radio?
“I am here to testify that no one has ever approached me advertising that book, so whoever is telling you that is lying.”But a senior police officer from Harare province said he bought the book “so that junior officers would also buy and understand what it means to be a police officer and how the organisation was formed”.
“It’s not like people are being forced, but station commanders are urging their juniors to buy the book and those who don’t have cash are being told to make a payment plan, so that they at least get it at the end of the day,” a senior officer said.
NewsDay understands that officers were expected to present their payment plans to their respective superiors who were currently keeping custody of the book.
Police sources said while non-commissioned officers were being asked to buy the book for at least $100, commissioned officers were “being urged to pay more and probably challenge what Commissioner Rabson Mpofu did at the book launch”.
“There is competition among the top cops and some are doing this so they curry favour with the top brass for promotions and other kickbacks. Some superintendents are paying more, some as much as $300, for the book and get Samantha’s publication in addition to the commissioner-general’s book,” another police officer said.
During the launch of the book in Harare two weeks ago, Mpofu, who was in June promoted to the rank of commissioner (planning and policy formulation) from being a senior assistant commissioner, bid $6 500 for the publication, beating a businessman who was competing with him in the auction.
In the book, the police boss chronicles the setting-up of the force, the challenges and how the ZRP handled the land reform programme, which he described as a very emotive political issue.
“The issue of land is a political question. The book tries to explain how the police handled it and what should be done to ensure disputes of such nature are resolved amicably,” Chihuri said.
It further talks about policing under the inclusive government, which was made up of three warring parties – the two MDCs and Zanu PF.
Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo, who was guest of honour at the launch, described the book as a must-read for all police officers.