Zimbabwe Republic Police’s training and development continues to reap benefits as more police officers acquire higher qualifications. The recent 24th graduation of National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Bulawayo saw four police officers graduating with Master of Science Degrees in Disaster Management.

This was the first batch of police officers to graduate with such a qualification. They were among 2 507 graduates who were capped by the University’s Chancellor, President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently.

The four police officers are Superintendent Solomon Mbimbi of ZRP Staff College, Inspector Clapton Tinovonga Chidavaenzi who is the Officer-In-Charge ZRP Matapi, Assistant Inspector Moses Sibungu of Police General Headquarters Training and Development and Sergeant Tatenda Chiutsi from ZRP Ntabazinduna Training Depot.

Speaking to The Outpost soon after graduating, Assistant Inspector Sibungu said the programme was relevant to police duties as police officers are the first in any disaster. He appealed for the programme to be cascaded to other members so that they gain more knowledge on how to manage disaster situations.

“I want to thank the Commissioner General of Police Tandabantu Godwin Matanga for affording us this opportunity to further our studies at this institution. I personally found the program very empowering as we play a pivotal role in the management of natural, manmade or technological, disasters,” said Assistant Inspector Sibungu.

“It is my appeal that the course be rolled out to other police officers so that they gain more knowledge on how to manage disasters. Myself being with the training department I will play my part to ensure that what I leant is infused to our curriculums so that I help my fellow colleagues,” added Assistant Inspector Sibungu.

NUST course coordinator for Disaster Management, Dr Edson Munsaka echoed similar sentiments and added that ZRP officers and members need to be highly skilled on how to deal with disasters as they are often deployed to United Nations peacekeeping missions where they face far more disastrous environments.

“In my view, in order to improve knowledge, skills and effectiveness, the ZRP officers should be among the beneficiaries of this important course. Besides being local respondents to disaster scenes, police officers are often seconded to UN peacekeeping missions where they are at times deployed in hostile and disastrous environments where disaster management skills become more necessary,” said Dr Munsaka.

The graduation ceremony also saw President Mnangagwa being installed NUST Chancellor while Professor Mqhele Dlodlo was installed the institution’s Vice Chancellor. In his remarks President Mnangagwa urged graduands to contribute positively to the socio-economic transformation agenda.

“As Chancellor I call upon all graduands to pursue endeavours which probably contribute to the socio-economic transformation agenda in our country. You have been academically empowered with knowledge and skills, play your part in building the Second Republic,” said President Mnangagwa.

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