MEMBERS of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) have been ordered to immediately get the newly-introduced Zanu PF electronic membership cards, which are being sold at US$2 each, in a move seen as a fund-raising exercise ahead of the broke ruling party’s elective congress in December.
Sources in the police force said this week a radio communication was sent to all police stations across the country ordering all officers to get Zanu PF membership cards. The country has an estimated 70 000-strong police force.
“We received an internal radio communication and the process is ongoing at Morris Depot in Harare,” a junior officer based in Harare said this week. “All commanding officers have been issuing orders to their juniors telling them to register and obtain the party cards. Some of us have already gone to Morris Depot to get ours; it is a must for us to have them.”
The move confirms Zanu PF’s unlawful activities to turn police and other security agents into partisan activists and militias.
In July, Zanu PF started rolling out electronic membership cards to members in Harare.
The new cards include the member’s photograph, designation and national identification number.
At the time of introduction, Zanu PF national commissar Webster Shamu said members from the cell to district levels will pay a monthly subscription of US$1, those in the national consultative assembly US$5 while central committee and politburo members will fork out US$10 and US$20 monthly respectively.
According to police sources, plans are underway to have uniformed forces’ subscriptions deducted from their salaries through the Salaries Services Bureau (SSB), which processes salaries for civil servants. “We are not even sure how much we will contribute every month because it will be done through SSB,” said a police source.
Zanu PF is struggling to pay its employees and fund party projects. Its companies have suffered from the country’s economic crisis thus shrinking its resource base.
In an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent last week, police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said she was not aware that ZRP officers were buying Zanu PF cards. “Is that happening in Zimbabwe?” Charamba asked. “I am not aware of that and I do not want to believe that is happening.”
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo also said he was not aware Zanu PF cards were being sold to police officers.
“That is news to me. The best thing to do is to contact the commissariat because they are in charge of party membership,” Gumbo said.
Sources in the uniformed forces said once the registration of the ZRP is complete, Zanu PF will engage those in the army.
“After the ZRP registration the commissariat will move to the army where they want to register all the military personnel and then lastly they will move to prison service personnel,” said the source.
The security services reportedly have a combined workforce of close to 200 000 after the controversial recruitments that were done during the build-up to the July 31 2013 elections.
In the build-up to the July 31 2013 elections, uniformed forces stepped up their campaigns for Zanu PF when commanders toured police stations countrywide urging officers, their spouses and everyone residing in the camps to register for elections and vote Zanu PF.