Police action deplorable

HARARE - The police must since have abandoned any sense of self-respect if events at the Medium Term Economic Plan review yesterday are anything to go by.

The police’s refusal to play the national anthem because President Robert Mugabe was not present seems deliberately crafted to attract barrages of outrage, which they then apparently seek to deflect with apologies.

Their latest assault on the PM was duly followed by a hasty climbdown, with police pleading to play the anthem after Sylvester Nguni, the minister of State in the Vice President’s Office intervened.

The police’s contempt for the PM raised collective eyebrows from even die-hard Zanu PF ministers at the meeting. After noting the grave mistake, police later retracted the silly protest with the usual apology.

We unequivocally condemn the delinquent police.

This was a government programme for Christ’s sake! It was not a political party event but a review of government’s mid-term economic plan.

So, why would police refuse to play the national anthem? We would defend the police’s right to criticise the government, its performance and its policies in both public and private venues.

But few could excuse yesterday’s deeply offensive and outright contempt for our Prime Minister.

The police action is outrageous and unforgivable.

Refusing to play the national anthem is shameful, and their mealy-mouthed apology to the Prime Minister was more excuse than contrition.

But the whole incident is symptomatic of a deeper issue: a culture in which contempt for the PM is offered as punch lines in sound bites. This is just a mean-spirited and personal attack on the PM.

In a country that prides itself for waging an illustrious 16-year bush war to gain independence and freedom, refusing to play the national anthem is meant to test that freedom and independence to its limits.

The Zimbabwean Constitution expressly declares the national anthem sacrosanct. This act of refusing to play the anthem — itself an insult to what the founding fathers fought for in the first place — must be harshly condemned by all patriotic Zimbabweans.

Of course police engaged in this act to provoke some sort of reaction.

The Zimbabwean anthem represents the living country and is considered to be a living thing emblematic of the respect and pride we have for our nation.

Police must be reminded that we owe reverence and respect to our anthem. Our national anthem holds hope for this country and is a precious song.

Police are now crossing the red line and must avoid mixing what is patriotic with what is destructive.

Zimbabwe has certain values it holds as sacrosanct and the national anthem is one of them. - Staff Writer

Comments (2)

USELESS, DISGRACEFUL, CORRUPT AND UNINTELLIGENT BUNCH OF THUGS THAT CALL THEMSELVES POLICEMEN. GONE ARE THE DAYS WHEN THE BSAP WERE RESPECTED AS ONE OF THE BEST POLICE FORCES IN THE WORLD. THIS LOT IS A DISGUSTING EXCUSE FOR A POLICE FORCE AND HOPEFULLY WHEN THE MDC WIN THE ELECTION AND ZPF IS GONE, SO WILL THIS BUNCH OF THIEVING THUGS WHO CALL THEMSELVES POLICEMEN. THEY HAVE NO BRAIN BECAUSE QUALIFICATIONS ARE NO LONGER NECESSARY TO JOIN THE FORCE. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN A POSITION TO MAKE A STATEMENT TO ONE OF THEM WHO IS WRITING IT DOWN. THEY ARE NOT COMPUTERISED YET BECAUSE NONE OF THEM WOULD KNOW HOW TO USE ONE. SAD CASE REALLY.

Peter Macklyn - 15 November 2012

USELESS, DISGRACEFUL, CORRUPT AND UNINTELLIGENT BUNCH OF THUGS THAT CALL THEMSELVES POLICEMEN. GONE ARE THE DAYS WHEN THE BSAP WERE RESPECTED AS ONE OF THE BEST POLICE FORCES IN THE WORLD. THIS LOT IS A DISGUSTING EXCUSE FOR A POLICE FORCE AND HOPEFULLY WHEN THE MDC WIN THE ELECTION AND ZPF IS GONE, SO WILL THIS BUNCH OF THIEVING THUGS WHO CALL THEMSELVES POLICEMEN. THEY HAVE NO BRAIN BECAUSE QUALIFICATIONS ARE NO LONGER NECESSARY TO JOIN THE FORCE. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN A POSITION TO MAKE A STATEMENT TO ONE OF THEM WHO IS WRITING IT DOWN. THEY ARE NOT COMPUTERISED YET BECAUSE NONE OF THEM WOULD KNOW HOW TO USE ONE. SAD CASE REALLY.

Peter Macklyn - 15 November 2012

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