Zimbabwe’s police, who are currently under the spotlight after arresting four journalists employed by state-owned newspapers in the past two days, have a lot to do to spruce up their image because less than half the population trusts them.
A survey just released by Afrobarometer which covers 34 African states, said that 48 percent of the people surveyed in Zimbabwe trusted the police. This was way below the continental average of 53 percent and the southern African regional average of 59 percent.
Police were ranked as the most corrupt government agency on the continent, followed by tax officials who were at par with government officials generally, then local government councilors, Members of Parliament, followed by judges and magistrates , and finally hose from the president’s office.
Zimbabwe has the fourth most corrupt police officers among the countries surveyed and came after Nigeria, Kenya and Sierra Leone.
The survey, released on Monday, showed that police in Zimbabwe have been steadily losing the confidence of the people from 2002/2003 when 42 percent perceived them to be corrupt.
This rose to 62 percent in 2005/2006 before declining to 47 percent in 2008/2009 and was back to 62 percent in 2011/2013.
Police on Monday arrested the editor of the Sunday Mail editor Mabasa Sasa and two reporters Tinashe Farawo and Brian Chitemba; and yesterday arrested the assistant news editor of The Herald Takunda Maodza.