POLICE have sent home recruits after a failed pass-out parade on Wednesday this week due to a shortage of uniforms, NewsDay can report.
NewsDay is reliably informed that the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) released the recruits to decongest the Mkushi Training Academy.
On Wednesday, this paper reported that the cash-strapped police force had indefinitely postponed the pass-out parade due to resource constraints.
A senior police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “We have sent the recruits home briefly as we put things in order. At the moment, we can’t accommodate all the recruits (at the Mkushi Training Academy) that is, those who have come for the 2023 intake and those that are due for the pass-out.”
“Our resources are constrained. So even if they come back, we are also going to send them out for other business as part of their training.”
Sources told NewsDay that there was a shortage of police hats and shoes, which resulted in the deferment of the pass-out.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said: “Reference is made to your inquiry on the state of affairs at Mkushi Training Academy and Ntabazinduna Depot regarding the adequacy of facilities for recruits.
“The ZRP Mkushi Training Academy and Ntabazinduna Depot have adequate facilities for police recruits intake. Reports of overcrowding or recruits being sent home are not correct. While the new recruits are coming in, the senior recruits are going for station attachments as articulated in our previous response to your questions.”
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Police have over the years decried under-funding from the government.
Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs, Veterans of the Liberation Struggle and Security chairperson and Beitbridge East legislator, Albert Nguluvhe, said the committee was not aware of the problem.
“The issue of shortages such as uniforms within the police have not yet been brought to our attention,” Nguluvhe said.
“However, it’s something that we will need to look into. On the issues of the funding to the security forces, we are still doing budget consultations and we have not yet debated about it in Parliament, but it is an issue that we will definitely look at.”
Both Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe and permanent secretary Rapahael Faranisi were not reachable for comment.
Recently, police pleaded with Parliament to push for an upward review of its budget allocation when Finance minister Mthuli Ncube presents the 2024 budget.
In 2021, chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence and Home Affairs, Levy Mayihlome said police officers had become corrupt because their parent ministry was underfunded to meet their needs.