By A Correspondent- In a development that has highlighted how much the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is incapacitated, Rujeko Police Station in Masvingo urban is reported to have hijacked City Council’s public toilet which is a few meters from the station and is reportedly locking away members of the public who are supposed to be the beneficiaries of the facility.
This came out in a full council meeting held at Town House on April 21 2022 when the recently re-elected ward 7 councilor Richard Musekiwa raised the concern.
Musekiwa said the police post has no toilet of their own, and officers have resorted to using the public toilet which they are reportedly personalizing.
“Police in Rujeko have personalized the public toilet in the suburb yet it is a council-owned property and it should be accessed by the public not the police to make it their property,” said Musekiwa.
He said police have since put a padlock to deprive hundreds of people who ply and stay close to Rujeko A shops.
Ward 8 councilor Against Chiteme also said the police camp should construct their own toilet than depriving residents access to their toilet.
“Rujeko police station should construct their own toilet instead of taking over council property leaving the public without ablution facilities,” said Chiteme.
Masvingo City Council Mayor Collen Maboke said the police station should just be closed as no such institution is allowed to operate without a toilet.
“No one is allowed or should operate without a toilet and those without toilets must be shut down. So if Rujeko police base does not have a toilet, they should just close,” said Maboke.
Efforts to get a comment from acting provincial police spokesperson Sergeant Lloyd Masundire were futile as he was not reachable.
When Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Kazembe Kazembe and Commissioner General of Police, Godwin Matanga visited Masvingo in April 2021, they toured police posts including Rujeko and were told that there were lots of shortages in terms of resources in police departments, chief among them being shortage of toilets at many camps.
Officer Commanding Masvingo Province Commissioner David Mahoya told Kazembe and Commissioner General Matanga that the province was faced with shortages of toilets,
ffices, police vehicles, stationery, fuel and accommodation among other things and also said the case of Rujeko police station was worrying saying under normal circumstances, the station would be condemned as there were no toilets as well as office space.
“Literally there is no police station here, there are no toilets, the place is small, officer in charge shares offices with other staffers and no vehicles to deliver services,” said Commissioner Mahoya.
During that visit Kazembe said government was aware of the challenges being faced by the police which include accommodation for officers saying concerted efforts were being made to address that but up to now nothing has materialized.