The secret recruitment of police has been condemned as a conduit of fusing foreign trained militia into the mainstream police service.
The police command has now been challenged to recruit in a fair and transparent manner to avoid such suspicions.
The Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has said the recruitment of about 1000 secret police had raised concerns among the people.
FODEP executive director MacDonald Chipenzi has charged that the secret police recruitment had raised worries that it could be meant to infuse the foreign trained militia into mainstream police service with its favoured candidates.
Chipenzi has charged that the decision to recruit 1000 new police officers secretly through the submission of applications by prospective recruits at force headquarters as opposed to open provincial interviews had raised concerns that government had allegedly embarked on the training of militia.
It was wrong, he said for the service which was considered as one of the most corrupt institutions in Zambia to conduct the secret recruitment campaign.
Chipenzi told the Daily Nation in a statement that the secrecy surrounding the recruitment of police officers had raised suspicions that the Government had embarked on a recruitment of militia trained by some foreign countries to be infused in the police service.
He explained that the said foreign trained militia was being infused in the police service for further training so that they could be integrated into the country’s security wings.
The FODEP chief explained that the secrecy surrounding the recruitment exercise that is expected to commence today at the Force Police Headquarters in Lusaka was meant to shortlist the already ‘foreign trained’ persons in the police for further training at police colleges in Zambia.
“The Zambia Police’s decision to recruit about 1000 new officers secretly through the submission of applications by prospective recruits at Force Headquarters in Lusaka as opposed to open provincial interviews raises a lot of suspicions.”
“The police have not been sensitive on this issue because any secret recruitment of new police officers will raise serious suspicions in the face of already existing allegations from some quarters that government was recruiting militia in some countries who would later be integrated in the main security wings,” Chipenzi said.
Chipenzi said the recruitment of new police officers should be above board and transparent especially that the Zambia Police had been rated the worst corrupt wing of government by Transparency International.
He explained that the decision to recruit 1000 police officers secretly came at a time when the police command suspended its earlier announcement to hold public recruitment processes in provinces on account of the by-election in Mansa Central.
He wondered what could have caused the sudden shift in the normal recruitment exercise adding that his organization was wondering whether the recruitment that was suspended was different from the one government was currently conducting.“FODEP feels that the police command should be more clear, transparent and accountable in the recruitment process to avoid its name and reputation falling into public disrepute, Chipenzi said.