Zimbabwe Republic Police
The force consists of at least 39,000 officers and is headquartered in Harare at the Police general Headquarters(PGHQ). 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
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 . 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" . Police corruption is said to be rife.
- Zimbabwe Intelligence Profile, 2003
- AFR 46/003/2005 - Amnesty International 2005 report on Zimbabwe election intimidation
- Kent Rasmussen, R., & Rubert, S. C., 1990. Historical Dictionary of Zimbabwe, Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, N.J., USA.
- World Police Encyclopedia, ed. by Dilip K. Das & Michael Palmiotto. by Taylor & Francis. 2004,
- World Encyclopedia of Police Forces and Correctional Systems, 2nd. edition, Gale., 2006
- Sullivan, Larry E. et al. Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2005.
- About the Zimbabwe Republic Police and its History, from the Ministry Of Home Affairs official website