‘Poverty-Stricken’ Cops Refuse to Retire: ZRP Faces Surge in Extension Requests
An unprecedented number of Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers reaching the retirement age of 50 are reportedly refusing to retire due to financial constraints, prompting the police force to tighten regulations on service extensions, according to sources.
Last year witnessed a surge in applications for contract extensions by retiring officers, leading police authorities to impose stricter vetting conditions, as per information obtained by NewsDay. Under section 22 (3) and (4) of the Police Act Chapter 11:10, officers at retirement age have the option to extend their service.
Sources revealed that a majority of officers are reluctant to retire as they lack financial savings or assets to support themselves during retirement. When contacted for comment, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi requested written questions but had not responded by the time of publication.
A senior police officer, speaking anonymously to NewsDay, disclosed that almost all retiring officers are seeking contract extensions due to the absence of alternative income sources post-retirement. The source emphasized that the financial situation is particularly dire for male officers, who tend to apply for extensions more frequently than their female counterparts.
“The issue is, most police officers have no savings or investments for their retirements,” the source explained. “Owing to the meager salaries they have been earning over the years, the majority have nothing for their retirement survival so they do not want to retire. Even after retirement, you still need to take care of your family, send children to school, and cater for other family needs. So without a meaningful source of income, it will be difficult to make ends meet.”
Police officers in Zimbabwe have consistently voiced concerns about poor remuneration, urging Commissioner General Godwin Matanga to address their plight.
Last year, some retiring officers received lump sum retirement packages in local currency equivalent to around US$2,000, leading them to opt for contract extensions to secure a continued source of income.