Zimbabwe Republic Police

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The Zimbabwe Republic Police (or ZRP) is the national police force of Zimbabwe, known until July 1980 as the British South Africa Police.

The cap badge of the Zimbabwe Republic Police. Surrounding the emblem is the Latin motto, Pro lege, pro patria, pro populo, or "For the law, the nation, and the people"


The force consists of at least 39,000 officers and is headquartered in Harare at the Police general Headquarters(PGHQ)[1]. The force is organised by province, and comprises uniformed national police, the Criminal Investigation Department, and traffic police. To date, there are 17 known provinces which are headed by a Senior assistant Commissioner. It also includes specialist support units including the (paramilitary) Police Support Unit and riot police, a Police Internal Security and Intelligence unit (the equivalent of the Rhodesian Special Branch); and ceremonial and canine units. Overall command of the force is exercised by the commissioner general Augustine Chihuri. He is deputised by four Deputy Commissioner generals who form part of the Central Planning Committee (CPC) a decision passing body in the ZRP. The deputy commissioner generals are also deputised by five commissioners. This structure makes the Commissioner General, a five star general.

Formation and Africanisation[edit]

The predecessor of the Zimbabwe Republic Police was the British South Africa Police of Rhodesia and the interim state of Zimbabwe Rhodesia.

Following independence in 1980, the force had a strength of about 11,000 officers (of whom about 60% were black) and a further 35,000 police reservists (nearly all of whom were white). After independence, the force followed an official policy of "Africanisation", in which senior white officers were retired, and their positions filled by black officers. In 1982, Wiridzayi Nguruve, who had joined the force as a Constable in 1960, became the first black Commissioner of the force. He was then succeeded by Henry Mkurazhizha.


Since 2000, the ZRP has faced criticism from Zimbabwean and international NGOs such as Amnesty International for alleged political bias and what is claimed to be its part in what many describe as a systematic violation of rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly [2]. The Commissioner of the ZRP, Augustine Chihuri, is open about his political loyalty to the ZANU-PF party (Zimbabwe's ruling party, led by President Robert Mugabe), saying in 2001 "Many people say I am Zanu PF. Today, I would like to make it public that I support Zanu PF because it is the ruling party. If any other party comes to power, I will resign and let those who support it take over" [3]. Police corruption is said to be rife.


^ 1. The Military Balance 2003/2004, International Institute for Strategic Studies
^ 2. Amnesty International, AFR 46/003/2005
^ 3. Daily News, Harare, 2 June 2001



  1. World Police Encyclopedia, ed. by Dilip K. Das & Michael Palmiotto. by Taylor & Francis. 2004,
  2. World Encyclopedia of Police Forces and Correctional Systems, 2nd. edition, Gale., 2006
  3. Sullivan, Larry E. et al. Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2005.

External links[edit]