Police Top Brass and the Law

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Farayi Munyuki This month, some senior police officers have been frequenting the courts to answer to various serious charges, mostly on fraud or stealing money from the police offices. This does not auger well for the prestige and morale of a law-enforcing agency. The case of the Commissioner Nelomba Uusiku who this week came before a Katutura magistrate gives a very bad image of the police. This is how justice in Zimbabwe over the years was eroded. To begin with, there was the case of a senior police official who had dealings with a schoolgirl who later took her own life under very suspicious circumstances. The officer was removed from his position and later got a job as a lecturer with the university’s Law Department. Such an appointment did not go down well with the public. Anyway, he was later brought before the courts, this time charged with trying to defraud the money left in his care. The case is still before the courts. Then it was announced that a senior police officer had been suspended for allegedly stealing money from the police quarters and he too was to appear in court. Then the most damaging episode coming from the police files is the allegation that they tried to remove the magistrate who was sitting on the Kandara hearing. The matter was badly handled, leaving the police in limbo and not knowing what to do next. It was really difficult to understand what the police were opposed to. The matter was amateurishly handled. While politicians and Government senior officials speak of justice prevailing in Namibia, it will take tons of words to explain why the police halted the Kandara hearing. Giving flimsy reasons that the magistrate attended Kandara’s funeral is most unfortunate and tarnishes the image of justice in Namibia. Should all those who attended the Kandara funeral lose their jobs since some of them were senior Government officials? What of the ministers and other notables? The Government needs to strongly put it across to those officers in blue and khaki that it cannot tolerate unruly behaviour by senior police officers. What would be the purpose of calling on members of the public to assist the police in their fight against criminals when the very people themselves are engaging in acts of theft and in breaking the law? The magistrates must show no mercy on officers who come before them for breaking the law, particularly thefts. The very fact that senior police officers have been arrested and brought before the courts is a reflection that justice in Namibia still prevails. In other countries, it would not have even prevailed. For police officers are law unto themselves, even junior ones. When was a police officer ever arrested in Liberia for breaking the laws of the country? What alarms the public is the frequency with which senior police officers are coming before the courts. Is the police top brass saddled with thieves? Time for a clean sweep up is at hand.