At least 20 police officers in Bindura were on Wednesday last week questioned after they allegedly made “bad” comments over delayed salaries and bonuses on a WhatsApp group they created.
The last group of civil servants received their December salaries on January 5, but none have yet received the 2015 bonuses which the government has promised to pay.
Of the 20 police officers who were detained over the chats, three are likely to be charged under the Police Act after they were found to be the most active in the group and the leaders of the discussions. It is believed that the messages were in “bad taste” and meant to undermine the government and incite other civil servants.
Police sources on Friday confirmed the questioning of the 20 and said the messages were communicated via a WhatsApp group created by the officers in Mashonaland Central.
“The officers were part of members that were on a social network group which they would use as a means of communication,” said a police officer. “Recently, they started making comments over salaries and bonuses.”
The source said some police officers on the group reported to their superiors and this led to the questioning of the 20.
The matter was being handled by CID Law and Order in Bindura and the three officers are still assisting with investigations.The Zimbabwe Republic Police officials are on record as saying they will not keep bad apples within its ranks and will dismiss offenders even if they appeal against the decision at the courts.
This came after police officers discharged from service were rushing to the High Court to contest their dismissal.
In July last year, Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri warned senior officers against undermining disciplinary processes, saying those caught on the wrong side would be punished accordingly.