The Harare City Council has justified its recruitment of 741 municipal police officers, saying the move will help with revenue collection.

This comes after social media users had questioned the city’s priorities, arguing its wage bill was already too high.

City spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme said Harare was set to benefit from the new officers who would aid revenue collection.

“The recruitment is justified. The city is losing a lot of money in a lot of places where it is collecting revenue,” he said. “The duty of these officers is to go and man those places where the city is collecting money, like the markets.”

From the group, 200 will be deployed to the traffic section, which, according to council, had degenerated into lawlessness.

“We have a lot of indisciplined drivers that have been disrupting traffic in the Central Business District and it is again the duty of these officers to go and do work there,” said Mr Chideme. “It is not an expense, they are going to be part of income generation, they are also going to police the city, bringing law and order in the city.”

Harare Mayor Councillor Herbert Gomba said there was need for a court to ensure the usefulness of the municipal police.

In his speech at the municipal police graduation, Cllr Gomba said; “This brigade is part of our roadmap to a world class city by 2025. The officers will complement the efforts of their seniors in observing and ensuring legal trading and orderly movement and parking vehicles in the city.

“We, however, continue to push for the granting of arresting powers and establishment of municipal courts for the speedy resolution of any municipal-related crimes.”herald