HON. E. NCUBE asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to inform the House on:
a) government policy on the recruitment of persons with disability into the Police Service who have professional qualifications but cannot perform other physical tests such as running; and
b) disaggregated data on the number of persons with disability currently employed in the Police Service by province, gender and job position
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MABHOYI): Thank you Hon. Ncube for your question. The Ministry does not recruit people with disability because of the nature of training under the Ministry. There is a lot of vigorous training which includes running and exercises. What usually happens is that those who are disabled within the Ministry, that is those who were injured when they were training or injured by way of accidents, they remain with the Ministry and they can be given other duties like administration and so forth. We do not recruit disabled persons.
On the second part of the question, we are talking of those who have been injured during service and all in all we have 87 males and 25 females which bring a total of 112 and all of them are doing administrative work. Those members have been injured either during combat or through accidents.
HON. T. MOYO: My supplementary to what she said that the Ministry of Home Affairs does not recruit people who are disabled, is it not retrogressive and discriminatory? In my opinion, it is archaic and retrogressive to discriminate people who are disabled because the nature of crime these days is highly sophisticated. There is cyber crime which needs people who are ICT literate who can detect crime related to finances. We can have financial intelligent officers who can be recruited when they are disabled. I request the Hon Minister to react.
If they were going to recruit 5% who are disabled who may not be given the training which is labour intensive where people are forced to run and so on; we want training which targets the mind or brain, that is my response. Is it not discriminatory because people just think of physical when they arrest people? Someone can use a computer and should be able to detect crime and people are arrested.
HON. MABOYI: Thank you Hon Moyo for bringing this issue. I want to reiterate that we have people who are drivers and work in logistics who usually take deliveries to different stations. You will find that those people have been trained and we are not saying we are segregating by not taking the disabled. The first thing which we should consider is that when you become a driver, you have to go for training and we are talking of vigorous training where one can run up to 40km and that disabled person cannot do that. We are saying for those whom you think could work in the offices, are the ones whom we are saying they were injured. Those are the people who take this responsibility. The policy says you should be a person who is physically fit. I am sure you have heard about the young boys being returned home because they failed to meet the criteria of being a policewoman or man. I thank you.
(This is an extract from the Hansard of 19 May 2021)