Government has reduced the number of people to be recruited in the Zambia Police Service by a thousand this year.
Home Affairs Deputy Minister, Panji Kaunda says government has decided to reduce the number from the initial 1, 500 due to financial challenges.
The 500 recruits to be cruited as police officers is against a national deficit of about 80,000 police officers to provide security to the citizens and safeguard property.
ZANIS reports that Colonel Kaunda said this in Kapiri Mposhi when he paid a courtesy call on District Commissioner Beatrice Sikazwe yesterday.
The Deputy minister said government was however still committed to recruiting more police officers in view of the low staffing levels of police officers currently being experienced in the country.
He added that the recruitment exercise will be resumed once budgetary allocations are permissible.
The Deputy Minister also revealed that 400 individuals mostly school leavers will be recruited in the Prison Service this year.
“We were supposed to recruit 1, 500 people in the Zambia Police Service. But that number has been reduced to 500 while 400 individuals will be recruited in the Zambia Prison Service…
“ We would have loved to recruit more personnel in view of the low staffing levels in the Zambia Police but we have some financial challenge.” Col. Kaunda said.
Col Kaunda however said government was still committed to recruiting more personnel in order to address the staff deficit currently prevailing in the Zambia Police Service.
Meanwhile, Col Kaunda has revealed that government would construct 3, 600 housing units for the defence wings.
Col Kaunda said that government’s housing scheme was aimed at addressing the accommodation challenge that the men and women in uniforms were facing.
“I have a military background. I understand the needs of our officers in the Zambia Police Service and other defence wings. The Zambia Police is the point of defence.
“ And as government, we are committed to ensuring that we attend to the needs of our men and women in uniform… Government has initiated a housing scheme aimed at constructing 3, 600 houses for our officers. We are just waiting for approval from the treasury. We want to change the way of doing things and ensure that the Zambia Police Service becomes efficient.” said Col Kaunda.
Col Kanda observed that low staffing levels, inadequate accommodation and lack of reliable transport were the major challenges facing the Zambia Police and Prison Service adding that government was committed to addressing all these challenges currently being faced by the Zambia Police and Prison Service.
And Kapiri Mposhi District Commissioner, Beatrice Sikazwe has bemoaned the low staffing levels in the Zambia Police Service in Kapiri Mposhi district.
Ms. Sikazwe explained that Kapiri Mposhi was a vast district that needed sufficient manpower in the Zambia Police Service in order to effectively curb crime noting that efforts to effectively curb crime in the area were being hampered by inadequate personnel of Police personnel.
She urged the Ministry of Home Affairs to train selected individuals in crime prevention and revive the neighbourhood watch committees in communities to enhance security in the country.
“The shortages in police personnel can be mitigated by the neighbourhood watch committees which proved to be an effective link between the community and the Zambia Police Service in the fighting crime in the past,” Ms. Sikazwe said.
And Ms. Sikazwe appealed to the Ministry to consider building prison facilities in Kapiri Mposhi district .
She said this was because the Zambia Police Service in the area was finding it difficult to look after convicts and criminal suspects due to inadequate holding cells.
The District Commissioner stated that it was taking long to ferry convicts to Kabwe district where prison facilities exist thereby putting a burden on the Zambia Police Service to feed individuals that have been convicted in the courts of law.