Zimbabwe: Security Personnel Implicated in Armed Robberies

13 April 2021

Armed robberies have involved members of the security sector but more resources have been allocated to hunt down the robbery gangs and police will fire back when suspects use force to resist arrest, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe told the Senate last week.

The Minister told senators in response to questions last Thursday: "It is indeed true that most of these cases of armed robberies are being done by armed men and women from the police force as well as the army.

"I would like to emphasise and indicate that Government is indeed working on that, but I would also like to indicate that such cases have decreased. Some who resist arrest are being shot. We have two or three cases like that; the recent case, that of eight, a group we arrested recently.

"We have many groups that are involved, but I am happy that police are doing all they can to fix this issue. The issue we had which was a problem was an issue of resources, but now it is going to be a thing of the past because that problem is now being fixed."

Turning to some police officers being involved with artisanal miners, Minister Kazembe said if there was evidence, action would be taken accordingly. "No one is above the law, be it a police officer or a magistrate. If we have evidence we will act on that and put people behind bars," said the Minister.

"Corruption has become cancerous when it comes to bribes that we hear they are asking for. I would like to say all of us as citizens, we have an obligation to put an end to this cancerous issue of bribes. I would like to inform everyone that whenever there is a case, police are ready to fix that.

"We are saying zero tolerance to corruption. For corruption to take place, it needs two people. It is my request that you should take pictures of such characters in the police force. You will see that we act swiftly and put them behind bars."

Minister Kazembe said some of the economic challenges being experienced will be overcome soon and salaries would be adjusted to reflect the positive change in the economy.

But Minister Kazembe said despite more equipment now being bought, police were still facing some resource constraints, especially vehicles.

"Transport is a critical issue for us to attend such cases. I am grateful to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development (Professor Mthuli Ncube); he provided us with vehicles.

"Resources are critical for police to react to such criminal offences. We have a lot of training programmes; we are training our police officers. We also have an integration programme and because of the technology which was passed by Government, I think this will go a long way in assisting us," he said.

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