Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi declared on Friday that corruption inside the police force gives him sleepless nights.
Addressing a police parade in Maputo, held to mark the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Mozambican police force (PRM), Nyusi declared “the news of policemen who join the ranks of the criminals, particularly when I am told that they have the necessary training so as not to commit the crimes they have embraced, deprives me of sleep”.
“When policemen are caught in the gangs trafficking in rhinoceros horns, elephant tusks, and various drugs, or facilitate these same crimes, I am unable to sleep”, he declared.
“When repeatedly I receive information that a policeman has shot to kill, against innocent citizens, because he was following, not the law, but his impulses, I am unable to sleep”, he added. “I cannot sleep when the statistics show an increasing number of police involved in crime”.
Nyusi said he was also disturbed by reports of the traffic police deliberately harassing foreign tourists, and extorting money from people “who want to appreciate the marvels of our unequalled landscapes”.
“Today, Mozambican society is ever more demanding about the protection and guarantees of its fundamental rights”, the President said. “Citizens can distinguish between good and bad police behaviour, and so they demand the restoration of their rights when these have been violated”.
He called on the police to be implacable in the fight against organized crime “so that citizens can feel calm and protected”.
Police action, Nyusi added, “should be complemented by community initiatives to prevent and fight against crime. It is crucial that the police strengthen their links with citizens through the Community Security Councils”.
He thought it imperative that “the recruitment, selection and training of new members of the police force occurs within the established legal framework and in close collaboration with the other defence and security forces”.
In all of its activities, “our police must create the necessary trust to serve as a reference point for society, which implies increased effectiveness and efficiency”.
The government, Nyusi said, was well aware of its duty to provide the police with the resources and training it needs to carry out its tasks, and this was included in its Five Year Programme for the 2015-2019 period, recently approved by the Mozambican parliament.
“Society must remain your true source of inspiration and the barometer of your performance”, he told the ceremony. “Police officers must know how to hear, understand and analyses the opinions and perceptions of the citizens whom you have sworn to serve”.
For its part, Mozambican society “must police the police, blowing the whistle honesty on the deviant behavior with which some policeman dare to blemish the image of the force”.
The General Commander of the police, Jorge Khalau, declared that the police have taken a pro-active attitude in crime prevention.
“The conditions are being improved that will allow greater police visibility on the public highway, and a rapid response to emergencies”, he said.
Khalau promised that the police “will continue to prioritise collaboration with the communities, in order to take the best advantage from criminal prevention strategies”.