Crime & Courts Main News

Underpaid Police Resorting To Crime In Zimbabwe

Constable Moyo recently nabbed for theft of electric transformer

Zimbabwe Republic Police, one of the most underpaid police force in Southern Africa has become a menace in the country resorting to crime to make a living. The average police officer is paid US$40 as their base salary. In an economy that is now largely dollarised, $40 is not enough to meet the daily needs of an average family.

Recently Consumer Council of Zimbabwe pegged its Low Income Monthly Budget For A Family of Six (Monthly Basket) at ZWL $21 000 which is equivalent to about US$250. This means an honest police officer is earning seven times under minimum survivable budget.

With the wages that depressed and a battered economy there seems to be little hope for workers. Over the past six months, a number of criminal incidences have involved police officers and other members of the security forces.

The sad situation has seen police resorting to extortion and bribery especially during the covid-19 state of emergency. One example is when Police forced an expecting mom to pay bribe for passage to labour clinic.

In another case, Constable Tatenda Mtigwa a Masvingo police officer deployed at a roadblock meant to enforce compliance during the national lockdown was arrested earlier this year after allegedly demanding a $50 bribe to give passage to a motorist who was ferrying his sick mother to the hospital.


Only today, another police officer Constable Mpofu was nabbed after he was caught vandalising an electicity transformer. There has been a syndicate of electric transformer thieves especially in Harare. The state electricity utility company ZESA has reported an average of 3 transformer thefts every day in Zimbabwe resulting in close to $20 million loss to date.

Recently a man Polite Sibanda (30) and Khumbulani Mapingire (38), deserting soldier and an ex-Bulawayo police officer who are suspected to be part of an 11-member gang that killed a man in Harare’s Belvedere suburb in September and stole US$30 500 during an armed robbery were arrested.