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Kudos to patriotic, diligent Police; civilian factor key

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by BAK, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Feb 27, 2011
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    Kudos to patriotic, diligent Police; civilian factor key

    By Editor

    27th February 2011

    It is exciting when, occasionally, people are treated to good news on areas of public service delivery that are routinely cast in negative light.

    On Thursday, much praise was showered on the Police Force in Mwanza city, for its nice handling of the demonstration organised by the Chadema political party, to draw attention on some issues of national interest.

    The next day, that Force, whose operative mission is aptly captured by the Kiswahili expression ‘Usalama wa Raia' (Public Safety) saluted 26 officers in Morogoro Region for distinguished service.

    In the Mwanza case, it is gratifying that the demonstration went off peacefully; which contrasts sharply with some demonstrations in the past when confrontations led to ugly outcomes, including deaths and injuries.

    There are two sides to the issue, though. Not all police officers are ethically disposed. There are some within the ranks who have an itch for bullying and clobbering civilians, for the sake of registering the distorted fact that people in uniform are superior and thus in charge.

    Cases abound of police officers slapping or kicking civilians suspected of committing offences, but who yield to arrests without a verbal or physical fuss.
    The scenario is potentially worse at political rallies or in demonstrations, because overzealous armed officers may be tempted to, or do, indeed, use excessive force.

    Restraint of the type shown in Mwanza is thus commendable, but the public side was also contributory, because if people march peacefully along officially sanctioned routes and don't engage in any unruly actions that may endanger security, even unethical officers are denied a pretext for misbehaving.

    It is therefore incumbent upon political party leaders to continue sensitising their members and supporters on the importance of behaving in a civil manner, for it is undeniable that idlers and hooligans perceive demonstrations as sparks for riots that would convert into opportunities for looting.

    In Morogoro, the 26 officers were singled out for recognition and given cash prizes plus certificates, for various praiseworthy deeds.
    Three of them pocketed Sh2million each and three colleagues got Sh1million each for foiling a bid to rob a Sh300million worth consignment of copper that had been on transit to Dar es Salaam from Zambia.

    Had the officers been cash-greedy, they could have conspired with the robbers and pocketed far larger sums as rewards for facilitating success of the evil mission.
    But commendably, they subordinated monetary gain that could have turned them into millionaires overnight, to personal integrity and patriotic service.

    The 20 others were given Sh100,000 each – a relatively modest sum, true, but hugely symbolic in terms of celebrating whatever their exemplary deeds were.

    They, and their ‘Usalama wa Raia' mates elsewhere who acquit themselves gallantly and honourably deserve recognition and praise, not only from their bosses at district, regional and national level, but the rest of their Tanzanian compatriots.

    Naturally, the awards will spur them into better service and act as role models for their colleagues. Efforts to straighten unethical elements within the Police Force – at all levels should continue, for these tarnish the image of an institution that otherwise hosts many clean, diligent patriots.

    But the civilian factor in the equation is important. The Police can't operate in a vacuum. They count on co-operation from civilians, by way of, for instance, volunteering tips on criminal elements in their midst.
    For at the end of the day, ‘raia' (citizens) have to play a facilitative role in their ‘usalama' (safety) that the law enforcement organ is primarily tasked with ensuring.