To think that we as citizens should be feeling the safest when around them, it is very sad and disappointing how the police have chosen to portray themselves in the eyes of the public. At this point it seems that the majority of our people view the police as this corrupt, selfish, incompetent and bully of a movement that has been granted so much power that it does not know how to use it all efficiently. I personally have had my fair share of negative experiences with the POPOZ and can mention quite a few of them from the top of my head but unfortunately I cannot think of any positive cases. Perhaps it is because I’m a 25 year old black male that I cannot recall any positive experiences with the police or maybe because I’ve lost so much trust in them to even bother calling them for help. The safety and security that a woman feels when going out at night with her three buff older brothers is what we as tax paying citizens should be feeling when around our police, but instead fear and nerves kick in.
The integrity of the force is no more and this is simply evident in what we watch, hear and read in the news on a daily basis. Police staff put themselves in compromising positions while on duty all the time, disregarding the honour that is to serve our beautiful country. I have heard officers attribute their corrupt tendencies to the fact that they are not getting paid well enough and therefore need to find other means of making extra money. This is true and sounds very logical indeed, but at what cost is one willing to get what they want. With the history of our country kept in mind, police misbehaviour is a very sensitive issue and values and morals of what it means to be an officer of the law should be the main focus of development in this field. A lot of us do jobs that we hate but yet we still do what we have to do because at the end of the day you have a mandate and you have to deliver without compromising the organisation. Bad service from a till operator at a retail store is one thing, bad service from a call centre operator is another and bad service from the petrol filling station is another but innocent citizens suffering assault at the hands of the police, taking bribes, shooting and killing of civilians by trigger excited police, abuse of state property, disposing of case dockets and evidence are all crimes of a very serious nature. The saddest part of it all is that these problems range from the highest ranks of the force to the lowest and it seems that the problem is only getting bigger by the day. I remember asking my younger sister who was at the time 14 years old ‘Who is the Public Protector’ and she responded the Police. I looked at her and noticed the confidence in her eyes with which she responded because in her mind that is the way it is ought to be. Greed and disregard for fellow citizens seem to be slowly but surely becoming a trend in the public service sector in general and my biggest fear is that we as a country eventually get to a point where we so used to it that it suddenly seems OK.
The Question we should be asking I believe is ‘Where did it all go wrong’ and perhaps if we are to establish that we can be able to rectify. It saddens me that after fighting for so long for a free democratic country we still compromise on the general wellbeing of our country. I personally still have hope for change in this country of ours and firmly believe that the struggle goes on.
BY: Zuko ZOOX Nomnganga
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