The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has reportedly tightened screws on officers who wish to extend their service post retirement after an unprecedented number of retiring officers applied for extensions, NewsDay has learnt.

Sources told this publication that the majority of police officers who have reached retirement age of 50 years do not want to retire because they have no financial savings or assets to sustain them in retirement.

Under section 22 (3) and (4) of the Police Act Chapter 11:10, police officers who have reached the retirement age can extend their service.

NewsDay is reliably informed that last year, police authorities were overwhelmed with applications for extension of contracts by retired officers, which prompted them to invoke strict vetting conditions.

Contacted for comment, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi requested questions in writing.

He, however, had not responded by late yesterday evening.

A senior police officer, who spoke to NewsDay on condition of anonymity, said “almost all” retiring cops were applying for extension of their contracts because they had no other source of income to sustain them post-retirement.

He said male officers tend to apply for extension of contracts more than their female counterparts.

“The issue is, most police officers have no savings or investments for their retirements,” the source said. “Owing to the meagre 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 have been complaining of poor remuneration and have on several occasions implored Commissioner General Godwin Matanga to act on their plight.

Last year, some retiring officers were paid lump sum retirement packages in local currency equivalent to around US$2 000 which resulted in officers opting to extend their service.