Putting aside some few rotten apples, The Zimbabwe Republic Police is one of the best police forces in the world, in terms of their pursuit of protecting the civilians and maintaining law and order, no one can argue with that.
They are so good at their job that they are constantly called outside of the country on UN missions to help in the maintenance of peace and order in several volatile regions of the world, and have won a lot of praise and respect internationally.
By Marshall Saonga
But then I begin to wonder, why the most effective law enforcement body hasn’t been computerized to the least of having a computer at the front desk at their main station (The Charge Office).
Why isn’t the Zimbabwe Republic Police on social networks e.g Twitter, Facebook like other organizations are doing? Worse of all they don’t even have a responsive operational website, isn’t this part of the ongoing computerization programme which government has been spearheading?
In a related issue, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) Boss Gershem Pasi, on Wednesday 25th of June said, “The ZRP earns about $7 million a month from traffic spot fines, which they were not remitting to treasury”.
Yet in response the ZRP spokesperson, Assistant commissioner Charity Charamba denied the allegations, saying that the ZIMRA Boss was lying. So who then should we believe in this scenario? I wonder?!
This instantly aroused my interest as a techie, and I began to identify systems which the ZRP could implement with ease, so as to foster transparency in their financial operations; good examples that came to mind being the Easy Park and City Parking automated systems. The above mentioned companies use portable automated and networked machines (see picture insert). The inspector simply punches the car registration number, which information is relayed to the main office server where it’s recorded and stored.
After the information has been relayed, the inspector then issues the motorist with a receipt that is produced by the device. This system has proven to be far much more transparent as compared to the book and pen system which is was once used by easy park until they computerized their system.
Imagine, by just typing one’s car registration number the machine processes a receipt which is instantly issued to the motorist.
Isn’t this what ZRP should be doing? This kind of payment system would certainly foster transparency, accountability with regard to how the police administer the money from spot fines.
If Easy Park and City Parking are able to have more than a hundred parking lot pay machines which receipt parking payments, then why can’t the ZRP have their own automated spot fine ticketing system in their top notch BMWs for officers to use?
If they can afford purchasing and maintaining top of the range BMWs then surely they can afford the automated portable machines which are way cheaper. We need a police force that is not only crime ready but technologically up to date for the benefit of the nation as well as their organization.
So ZRP should keep up their good work while also keeping in tandem with technological advancements that make their work much easier. When I googled for the ZRP website I came up with nothing and that is embarrassing. Technology will certainly help our police force in the execution of their duties and so they should embrace it.