Police urged to learn local languages
HOME Affairs Deputy Minister Cde Obedingwa Mguni has urged officers within his ministry stationed in Matabeleland region to learn languages spoken in areas where they are deployed.
Cde Mguni said he has received several complaints from members of the public against police officers, Zimra and immigration officers failing to communicate with their clients due to the language barrier.
The Deputy Minister said this was a sign of disrespect.
He said some villagers, especially the elderly were complaining that they were failing to communicate with police officers stationed in bases within their areas.
He said this applied to borders in Matabeleland and other government departments.
“I would like to encourage officers within the Ministry to learn to communicate in languages used in areas of their work.
‘‘Generally it is a sign of disrespect to communicate with the elderly in a language which they do not understand when you are in an area,” he said. “I’ve received complaints from several people in the region about officers from my Ministry who can’t communicate with clients.
‘‘This is uncalled for because those officers are posted in those areas to serve people and you can’t serve people that you can’t communicate with.”
Addressing officers from the Home Affairs Ministry stationed in Bulilima and Mangwe recently, Cde Mguni said civil servants deployed in the districts were expected to speak in Kalanga as that was the local language in the three areas.
“There are elderly people in rural districts who can’t communicate in English and the only language they know is their local language.
‘‘Such people should be able to get the service they need when they visit a police station within their area or any other Government office.
“This also applies to posters displayed in various offices. They shouldn’t be written in English only but in the local language as well,” he said.
Home Affairs Deputy Minister Cde Obedingwa Mguni