Mavaza: Zim Police To Remain Professional During Elections
12 February 2022
Spread the love

By Dr Masimba Mavaza | Zimbabwe is getting ready to have by elections on the 26th March 2022. Many people are very anxious. The opposition is keen to have the elections because they hope to restore themselves back to where they were in 2018. So these by-elections are game changers.

The newly named CCC wishes to see how well received they have been so they wish to gauge the response of the electorate during these elections. On the same hand ZANU PF has nothing really to lose in these elections. Even if all the seats on offer are to go this does not alter the majority in parliament.

However ZANU PF intends to measure its support base in the opposition strongholds.

While politicians angle their muscles around each other the Police gets the brunt of both the losers and the winners.
The police are deploying officers in ways that promote a safe and free democratic election. Police officers in the field do also consider several suggestions to help guide their discretionary activities. Despite their efforts the police will always be blamed because it is difficult to make everyone happy.

The police have the discretion which can be used to form the basis of procedures or directives on Election Day.

The Police work does not contradict or take precedence over local laws, or existing agency procedures. If any one breaches the law he will be arrested regardless of his political inclination.
The Police are not there to protect parties but to protect Zimbabweans.
Unfortunately politicians make the work of the police difficult. Some politicians would want to patronise the police. Some genuinely believe that the control the police.

The worst of all are the ones who believe that they are victims and always appendix a bias tag on the police.

Police Officers will likely be required to make critical decisions on Election Day that may alter or shape voters’ experiences at the polls and their perceptions of the fairness of the process. It is how the police handle the elections which gives the outside world an opinion on our elections. Free and fairness is found in the way the police executed their duties. The zimbabwe Republic Police always fulfil their duties while remaining nonpartisan and impartial in all election times.
The opposition enters in the elections with one aim. To find ways of blaming the incumbent.

The police are not there to baby sit anyone. They are there for the reason to monitor polling locations as directed from an unobtrusive distance or location unless an exigency requires a direct response.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police do not participate in the election process while on-duty, even if requested assist in translation, fill out ballot, move voting machine. Whatever happens at a polling station is nothing to do with police. Police are there to maintain law and order.
If assigned to the interior of polling location by a supervisor or as a legal requirement: they
Position themselves unobtrusively to the voting public so as to avoid the perception of monitoring or assessing the voting process.
If assigned to a post outside of polling location, the police monitor the area in vicinity of polling location from a reasonable distance.
The accusations by the opposition that the Police are biased is unfounded and deeply depressing. Considering the risk the police take in maintaining peace it is disingenuous of the opposition to push the police on the side of the ruling party.
The police besides keeping peace do observe for any illegal activity electioneering voter intimidation and electoral fraud.

The poling station is not a place to lecture to the police. The police are cognisant of permitted and un-permitted gatherings; they notify and consult with chain of command as necessary and act as advised. If a party is found on the side of illegality they must not cry foul.
Despite being accused of bias the Zimbabwe Republic Police remain alert and ready to respond impartially, when needed.
Protecting and serving all of Zimbabwe’s voters on Election Day is the priority of the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
It is common cause that the ZRP emphasise the role of maintaining both the physical safety and voting rights of individuals in a fair and impartial manner.
The police do liaise with election officials about any conditions that arise, including any unavailability of voting machines, ballots, etc., that could cause protest, unrest, or allegations of fraud. This is done to maintain peace.
Officers have the duty to protect the public from threats to their safety, but the enforcement of minor offenses near polling locations may be perceived as exerting a chilling effect on voting. Being that as it may people should know that they will be arrested if they break the law near the polling stations.
Averting critical incidents is the primary goal of the police during an election, followed by responding to incidents in a way that limits their severity and restores the public’s faith in the democratic process. Democracy – is a system of government by the whole population, ordinarily through elected representatives, and in which all citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. In a democracy the elected representatives of the people derive their power and mandate from the people.
So the ZRP take elections seriously and do not take sides during and after elections.

ZRP always oversees free, fair and regular elections, respect for the rule of law, separation of powers, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, equality and non-discrimination.

[email protected]