The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: 2012 - What a Year for ZRP

Several operations that were conducted this year to curb crime countrywide seem to have been successful as police reduced crimes of concern despite facing a lot of challenges. The crimes, which ranged from armed robbery, housebreaking and theft, stock theft and smuggling among others were giving police headaches yet they found a way to get around them.

There were also rampant cases of domestic violence, some of which were fatal. Rape cases especially of juveniles were also rampant with police managing to arrest some of the suspects while some are still at large.

Over and above the Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri was at the forefront urging officers to ensure that peace and stability prevails countrywide.

Although the police chief has been expressing concern over low funding from the fiscus, he had been urging his officers to shun corruption and discharge their duties professionally.

Temptation seemed too much for some several officers who were, however, arrested while others were discharged from duty after being caught on the wrong side of the law. Since January, 123 police officers have been arrested countrywide for corruption, as the force maintained zero tolerance on the vice.

Commissioner-General Chihuri said the force did not condone corruption. He said of the 123 arrested since January, 32 have since been discharged from the force while the other cases were pending.

Over 360 suspects were recently arrested countrywide on allegations of committing domestic violence and rape during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence. Of the arrested suspects, 262 were for domestic violence with the remainder for rape.

Chief police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said 62 other suspects were arrested for sexual offences like indecent assault. She said they also conducted campaigns during the exercise and reached out to 150 000 people.

In June, at least seven people were killed by their partners in separate incidents in 149 cases of domestic violence recorded countrywide. The deaths were recorded in Bulawayo, Zhombe, Murehwa, Seke, Mutoko, Bindura and Siyabuwa in Matabeleland North.

Among the victims was a nine-month-old baby that was poisoned by its mother in Mutoko following an argument with her husband. The two had reportedly argued over the paternity of the child.

More than 16 000 suspects were arrested this year for stock-theft and other related cases as police continued their crackdown on rustlers. 9 264 cattle have been stolen this year and police managed to recover 3 557 in 4 144 cases that were reported. The cases were recorded between January and October.

Police national co-ordinator for Anti-Stock Theft Assistant Commissioner Bernard Dumbura said of this year's suspects, 1 153 were cattle rustlers, while the other 14 873 were arrested for stock theft related cases.

The force also launched a manhunt for more than 3 200 motorists on their wanted list for committing various traffic offences, including culpable homicide.

The motorists were arrested for violating the traffic regulations and released after being issued with Form 265 tickets to pay fines later.

Acting National Traffic police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Luckmore Chakanza said the motorists faced charges ranging from driving without due care, failure to report an accident, failure to stop after an accident, driving without current licence disk, possession of fake driver's licence, negligent driving and culpable homicide.

Four people, including an immigration officer, were arrested after being found in possession of more than 10 fake security date stamps and blank copies of various registration forms. The gang had the capacity to issue voter registration forms, fake drivers licences, birth certificates, death certificates, passports and marriage certificates.

They could also counterfeit route permits for commuter omnibuses, vehicle registration documents and certify documents. Also recovered from the suspects were more than 150 blank voter registration forms, a serial number printer, blank MDC-T membership cards, blank marriage certificates and blank birth certificates.

The four also had fake date stamps for the district registry office at Market Square, the clerk of court at Bulawayo Magistrates Courts, Department of Immigration Control Headquarters, Central Vehicle Registry and the district registry at Seke.

One of the recovered date stamps was written in Chinese. Immigration officer Tendai Mapfaka, former immigration officer Monarch Chibiko, Farai Bhani, a taxi driver, and a clearing agent Ephraim Matiza were arrested by immigration officials in Harare.

Fifteen kombi drivers were recently jailed six months each for driving public transport without valid documents. They were rounded up as the joint operation involving Harare municipal officials and the police intensified. Code-named "Nguva Yakwana" the joint operation was aimed at restoring order at city ranks.

National Traffic Police spokesperson Inspector Tigere Chigome said most of the jailed drivers were convicted of driving public transport when they were below the age of 25.

In April, police impounded 600 unregistered and unroadworthy vehicles countrywide in two weeks to curb criminal activities and bring sanity on the roads.

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