The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Chihuri Sternly Warns Elements Bent On Harming Cops On Duty

THE law will descend heavily on people who attack and kill police officers in the course of their duty, Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri has warned.

He said it was unlawful to attack police officers going about their duties to maintain law and order.

"The public should respect police officers . . . Murdering anybody is a very serious offence.

"They (those who attack officers) should not cry foul when the law descends upon them," said Comm-Gen Chihuri.

He made the remarks at a passout parade of 441 policemen and women in Harare yesterday.

At least 29 MDC-T activists are facing trial at the High Court for the murder of a police inspector.

Inspector Petros Mutedza was killed in May last year while leading a reaction team after violence broke out at a bar where MDC-T was conducting a meeting.

Comm-Gen Chihuri said the recruits will contribute immensely towards sustaining the country's peace and order. He said the recruits uphold the rights and freedoms of the citizens contrary to private media and some civic organisations who claim human rights abuses by the police.

He said the force was being vilified for supporting people oriented policies by the Government such as the indigenisation and the land reform programme.

"However, as an organisation, we shall continue to support these policies despite the unwarranted smear campaign," Comm-Gen Chihuri said.

He said Zimbabwe and Zambia were preparing to co-host the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly next year and the force will ensure that peace and tranquility prevails before, during and after the major event. Comm-Gen Chihuri said the country was in the process of drafting a new constitution, which

would culminate in the holding of a referendum and general elections.

"Obviously these events and processes are being closely monitored and followed particularly by those countries and institutions that wish Zimbabwe to be declared a police state, among other degrading names.

"I am quite certain that ZRP and the people of Zimbabwe are, once again, going to seize this opportunity to prove these prophets of doom wrong by ensuring a tranquil and peaceful environment before, during and after the aforementioned processes," he said.

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