Zimbabwe Republic Police

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Zimbabwe Republic Police
Abbreviation ZRP
Zimbabwe Republic Police.jpg
Logo of the Zimbabwe Republic Police
Agency overview
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
National agency Zimbabwe
General nature
Operational structure
Sworn members 19,500 (2000)[1]
Minister responsible Ignatious Chombo
Agency executive Augustine Chihuri, Commissioner-General
Parent agency Ministry of Home Affairs

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


The force consists of at least 39,000 officers and is head-quartered in Harare at the Police General Headquarters (PGHQ)[1]. The force is organised by province, and comprises uniformed national police referred to as Duty Uniform Branch ( DUB ), the plain clothes comprisedCriminal Investigation Department ( CID ) and Police Internal Security Intelligence (PISI ), and traffic police (part of DUB. 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 Doctor 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 9,000 regular personnel and a further 25,000 police reservists (nearly half of whom were white Zimbabweans of European ancestry). 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.

Zimbabwe's serving police commissioner is Augustine Chihuri. He was succeeded in January 2015 by Major General Trust Mugova of the Zimbabwe National Army.[3]


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 President Robert Mugabe's administration, 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".[4] Police corruption is said to be rife.[5]


^ 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. ^ "Scramble for the Congo - Anatomy of an Ugly War" (PDF). ICG Africa. 2000-12-20. Retrieved 2013-06-18. 
  2. ^ Nelson, Harold. Zimbabwe: A Country Study. pp. 237–317. 
  3. ^ Mugabe forces Chihuri to retire Archived November 28, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Chihuri Has Failed Professional Test, Zimbabwe Independent, June 15, 2001
  5. ^ ZRP most corrupt in region

Further reading[edit]

  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.