The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has banned its offices from carrying any personal bags, including laptop bags and groceries when in uniform.
The force alleges that the bags are being used by some officers to carry civilian clothing, which is then used to indulge in “mischievous activities” at the end of their shifts. These new directives, are already part of the standing orders of the police, although they were being disregarded under the tenure of previous ZRP boss, Augustine Chihuri. The police officers were also banned from using WhatsApp, Twitter and headphones whilst on duty.
A memo sent by the head office to all police stations ordering all officers-in-charge to spread the word to their subordinates last week reads:
FROM PROPOL MASVINGO
TO ALL STATIONS “A” MASVINGO
RDO CD 1233/17 DATE 20/12/17
SUBJECT: CARRYING OF BAGS CMM LAPTOPS AND
GROCERIES WHILST IN UNIFORM
IT HAS BEEN NOTED THAT MEMBERS AND OFFICERS CONTRARY TO STANDING RULES IN THE POLICE STANDING ORDERS ARE SEEN CARRYING BAGS CMM LAPTOPS AND GROCERIES WHILST IN UNIFORM IN PUBLIC AREAS STOP
SOME OF THE BAGS WILL BE HAVING CIVILIAN CLOTHING MEANT FOR CHANGING UNIFORM FOR MISCHIEVOUS ACTIVITIES STOP
WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT C NM ANYONE SEEN CARRYING SUCH ITEMS WILL FACE DISCIPLINARY ACTION STOP LAPTOPS SHOULD BE KEPT IN OFFICES STOP
IN THE SAME VIEW CMM THE USE OF CELL PHONES ON WHATSAPP CMM TWITTER AND HEADPHONES WHILST ON DUTY AND IN UNIFORM IS PROHIBITED STOP