Zimbabwean police working to curtail armed robberies

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Zimbabwean police have issued statements chronicling the latest incidents where people would have fallen prey to gun-wielding criminals and vowed to conduct searches on illegal firearms.

In one of the recent incidents reported by the police, three men were detained after a foiled armed robbery in Chivi, Masvingo Province, on Aug. 12.
“Police investigations led to the arrest of one of the suspects who implicated two others,” police said.

In another incident which happened on Aug. 3, five people armed with pistols, an axe, a stick baton and a pair of handcuffs attacked six security guards at a service station in Chegutu, Mashonaland West Province, and stole a safe containing just more than 15,200 U.S. dollars in cash.’

In a bid to clear the streets of illegal firearms, police spokesperson Paul Nyathi recently said that the police would soon conduct searches on business premises and residential properties where illegal firearms were suspected to be.

He also announced that President Emmerson Mnangagwa had granted amnesty to people who voluntarily surrendered such weapons.

Nyathi said checks and records had also shown that some companies had closed down yet their representatives were still holding on to firearms that had been issued to the companies. The police had also observed that some licensed firearm holders were no longer renewing their firearms certificates or even notifying authorities about changes in residential or business addresses to enable constant checks to be made by the police on the status of the firearms.

In some cases, individuals and institutions were improperly securing their firearms, resulting in some falling into wrong hands and being used to commit robberies and murders, while some licensed gun dealers and clubs were holding on to unclaimed firearms which had been surrendered to them for safe-keeping, he said.

“In this regard, the Zimbabwe Republic Police advises the public that in line with Article 12 of SADC Protocol on the control of firearms, ammunition and related materials, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, has granted an amnesty to all members of the public who are in possession of firearms and ammunition falling under the categories listed above to voluntarily surrender them to the Zimbabwe Republic Police from Aug. 8 to Sept. 30, 2022,” he said.

The amnesty also covered those who possessed firearms that had been smuggled into the country, Nyathi said.

In an update issued Monday, the police said 85 firearms had been surrendered under the terms of the amnesty. Enditem

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