Zvamaida Murwira, Harare Bureau
Home Affairs Minister Dr Obert Mpofu yesterday said he will be meeting the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) top hierarchy to impress upon them the need to follow their constitutional mandate.
Dr Mpofu said he was aware of several complaints raised by the public against the police, especially on corruption and roadblocks, and will seek to find common ground with the force.
He said this in the National Assembly during question and answer session after Kuwadzana MP Advocate Nelson Chamisa (MDC-T) had asked what he was going to do to ensure that the ZRP becomes a “police service” and not a “police force.”
“I am going to meet their commanders tomorrow. I do not want to preempt our meeting. The issue of roadblocks is the first one that I will deal with and other issues which the nation will be made to know after the meeting,” said Dr Mpofu.
Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Minister Air Marshal Perrance Shiri said every Zimbabwean who meets the set down criteria is entitled to receive agricultural inputs under Command Agriculture and the Presidential Input Support scheme.
Minister Shiri said this while responding to questions from Harare Central MP Mr Murisi Zwizwai (MDC-T), who alleged that farming inputs were distributed on a partisan basis.
“I happen to have been very much involved in Command Agriculture and my response is not based on hearsay but on facts. At no stage were officers ever instructed to distribute inputs on partisan basis. The criteria is based on those who would have cleared their obligations from the past season. Those who paid for their inputs are legible. For new entrance, they get information from Arex officers based on their competence,” said Minister Shiri.
He said Government was importing fertiliser to augment production by local firms.
Minister Shiri received a standing ovation from backbenchers from across the political divide for his articulation and demonstrable grasp of information falling under his purview.
During yesterday’s sitting, legislators also had the opportunity to quiz Information, Communication and Technology and Cyber Security Minister Supa Mandiwanzira about Wednesday’s internet outage.
The Minister said he has since directed industry regulator, Postal Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (Potraz), to investigate the blackout, which also affected business.
Legislators also asked the Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda to explain the deployment of members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) to assist the Zimbabwe Republic Police in civil operations.
Mutare Central MP and opposition chief whip Mr Innocent Gonese (MDC-T) noted that while President Emmerson Mnangagwa has the power to deploy soldiers, he had an obligation to explain to members of the public.