Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo says the recruitment exercise of police constables into the Zambia Police Service will be corruption-free.

And Kampyongo has warned applicants in the ongoing recruitment exercise of police constables against using fake qualifications, saying anyone found wanting will be prosecuted.

Kampyongo told Parliament, Thursday, that corruption would not be allowed during the ongoing recruitment exercise.

This was after Kabwe Central member of parliament Tutwa Ngulube reported that applicants were being asked to pay money to some police officers in order for them to be considered.

“I have listened to all the questions that have been posed to you. And one question that I was expecting the Honourable member to address is the issue that has always come out when it comes to recruitment in the civil service, the issue of corruption. As I speak to you, we are receiving messages from people wishing to join the police service, asking whether it is true that some people have direct links to the recruitment process and are asking for money from these school-leavers. And some of the people asking for this money are police officers who are promising people. I want to find out what measures you are going to put in place and what punitive steps you are going to take should such police officers be exposed,” asked Ngulube.

In his response Kampyongo admitted that there was a bad corruption ‘perception’ during police recruitment.

“There is a perception that people can only manage to get into the police service by using individuals or by paying. Certainly what sort of police officer would you expect if by the point of entry, the passage is through corruption? What sort of officer are you going to expect at the end of the day? Those who would be found wanting whether police or citizens, duping people, eating their money and assuring them that they will help them get into the police service, will also be sternly dealt with,” Kampyongo warned.

And Kampyongo warned applicants in the ongoing recruitment exercise of police constables against using fake qualifications, saying anyone found wanting would be prosecuted.

Responding to a question from Nakonde PF member of parliament, Yozukanji Siwanzi, who asked what the Ministry was doing to ensure that no applicant used fake qualifications during the ongoing recruitment exercise, Kampyongo warned that anyone found wanting would be prosecuted.

“My message to the would-be recruits is that, they should make sure they submit genuine documentation. Because during the screening process, the police service would also be ensuring that they determine the authenticity of all the documents that applicants will submit. My appeal and warning to those who would want to use non-genuine documentation, they will be found and once found, they will be prosecuted and the laws are there to deal with such culprits,” Kampyongo said.

He further assured that all 10 provinces would be covered in the recruitment exercise to ensure fairness in the recruitment process of the 1,000 police constables.

“The total number of constables to be recruited is 1,000 as it stands in the Yellow Book and in the [national] budget. It should be noted that, while the recommended ration, internationally, standard ratio for police officers is one officer to 250 people, the current ration in our country, Zambia, is at one officer to 900 people. The police service, therefore, currently has a staff shortage and yet it has a heavy responsibility of enforcing the law and maintaining law and order in the country,” observed Kampyongo.