Harare – A video clip showing a drunk police officer in Zimbabwe has sparked a wider conversation on social media about how unpopular President Robert Mugabe’s police force is.
In the widely-shared clip, the officer, wearing the trademark boots and navy blue trousers of the Zimbabwe police, is shown apparently inebriated and lying in the open air near a drain.
Watch the video below
While many felt his behaviour was “despicable” and “sad” given the fact that the officer was in uniform, others said it wasn’t right to film and shame him.
Zimbabwe’s police force is generally unpopular, not least because of the way it has been used to clamp down on marchers and protesters against Mugabe. Traffic cops’ demand for fines and bribes at the many roadblocks spread across the southern African country has only served to deepen the dislike.
Tweeted @bayhaus: “There’s a certain sadness I felt watching this. But maZimba are nice peeps.” He added: “My take away of this vid is despite how the cops have treated citizens, citizens refuse to stoop to the same level by exercising restraint.”
Zimbabwean @xandatoto was clearly against the online shaming, tweeting: “I saw a callous people who chose to take amusement from this young man’s drunkenness & stupor. I hope they helped him get home safely.” He added: “I doubt it’s fun to be a ZRP officer.”
“True! But lets not hide from the fact that we are a traumatized pple! We have been abused for too long we are no longer normal,” said @tmavambe.
Zimbabwe’s police were in the news again following reports that officers on Sunday stood by as Zanu-PF officials openly fought at a party meeting in Bulawayo. There was also a claim in the privately-owned Standard newspaper that police teargassed a team of opposition MDC election campaigners in Lupane in southern Zimbabwe.
Interestingly an Afrobarometer survey published this month showed that 51% of Zimbabweans say they trust the police force.
— Baynham Goredema?? (@bayhaus) May 21, 2017