JUNIOR police officers say they are not happy with the $250 000 they received as allowances from the RBZ for their role in Project Sunrise, alleging that th
ey were ripped off by their seniors.
Officers who took part in the 21-day exercise, to man roadblocks and search for excess cash, were promised $20 000 in daily allowances but these were allegedly reduced to $15 000 under unexplained circumstances.
They claimed they were to be paid a total of $420 000 at the rate of $20 000 a day but now expect to receive $315 000 for their role in the nationwide currency blitz launched on July 31 by RBZ governor Gideon Gono to mop up bearer cheques that were being used outside the formal banking system.
Police in Bulawayo were last Monday paid the initial $250 000 and were expected to get the balance by the end of this week.
Officers who spoke to the Zimbabwe Independent this week said when the exercise began most senior officers were reluctant to participate.
When they realised that there were huge dividends to be paid they allegedly forced junior police officers to return to camp to create vacancies for senior officers, most of them above the rank of assistant inspector.
The junior officers spoke of nepotism and favouritism in the late appointment of additional police details. They alleged those ordered to return to their stations were replaced by relatives of senior officers, some of them recalled from leave.
“Some senior police officers were included on the operational staff list at the eleventh hour to give them an opportunity to make money,” a junior officer who was part of the exercise in Bulawayo said
“The reason given was that the senior officers were enforcing discipline among junior officers manning roadblocks.”
Police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, confirmed that junior police officers were paid less than what they were promised because the police force had the discretion to decide what to pay officers depending on the exercise they were carrying out.
“The police officers are not employed by the RBZ, and even if they get involved in any exercise, it is the discretion of the organisation (ZRP) to decide what to pay them depending on the amount allocated to the exercise,” Bvudzijena said.
He dismissed alleged cases of favouritism and nepotism saying the amounts they received were fair considering that more police details were deployed than the number budgeted for.
“The allowances had to be reduced to cater for everyone,” Bvdzijena added.
“And we cannot compromise policing in order to please police details. We do that even at football matches where we send more personnel than paid for when we feel that effective policing should be done by a larger number.”