Rising crime worries govt

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Sindiso Mhlophe

SENIOR STAFF WRITER

mhlophes@dailynews.co.zw

THE government is very concerned about the increase in violent crime in the country, as well as the continued abuse of social media, the Daily News reports.

This comes as the country has witnessed a spate of armed robberies and murders, including the gruesome killing and decapitation of a seven-year-old boy in Murewa for suspected ritual purposes, as well as a fatal shoot-out at retired lieutenant general Engelbert Rugeje’s home in Harare.

Speaking during a media briefing on the country’s state of security in Harare yesterday, Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe said violent crimes, the abuse of social media and fake reports were now high on the agenda of law enforcement agencies.

“With regards to violent crime, the security services have gone a gear up to sharpen the identification, tracing, apprehending and presenting for prosecution of all suspects  implicated in violent crime in the country.

“The abuse of social media and the scourge of fake reportage, which are often motivated by subversive intentions, will remain closely monitored to protect peace and stability in the country.

“Let us be reminded that the peace we are enjoying did not come by accident, as there are some among us, some Trojan horses, working day and night to try to cause chaos in our nation.

“They are trying to subvert our economic revival efforts. They are trying to prevent our diplomatic engagement and re-engagement efforts. However, they will not succeed in this anti-people agenda of theirs,” Kazembe said.

This comes as MDC Member of Parliament Joana Mamombe, 27, and party colleagues Cecilia Chimbiri, 31, and Netsai Marova, 25, are facing charges of publishing falsehoods prejudicial to the State and defeating the course of justice — amid claims that they faked their own abduction earlier this year.

“We have also seen a number of people deliberately breaking the law so that they can be arrested and make headlines, possibly for some reward from somewhere.

“We want to assure the nation that law enforcement agents are alert and the peace prevailing in the country will be guarded appropriately and jealously,” Kazembe added.

He also cited corruption as another worrying trend in the country which was derailing Zimbabwe’s quests of achieving an upper middle economy status by 2030.

“The law enforcement agencies are redoubling their efforts to tackle the scourge, working in concert with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) and the Special Anti-Corruption Unit in the Office of the President and Cabinet.

“Citizens must play an active role in reporting any acts of corruption they witness and should help law enforcement agencies to identify and locate the suspects,” Kazembe said.

Police also admitted earlier this week that they were concerned by the proliferation of unlicensed firearms in public hands, which were being used to commit violent crimes.

This came as authorities intensified investigations into the weekend shoot-out at Rugeje’s residence, where a robber was shot dead.

National police spokesperson Paul Nyathi told the Daily News that they were concerned by the increase in unlicensed firearms being used to commit robberies.

“There is a rise in the number of people with firearms and we are keen to establish their source and make sure that the law takes its course,” he said.

Nyathi also revealed that during last Sunday’s attempted robbery at Rugeje’s home, police had established that the bandits first struck a member of the neighbourhood security with an axe, before proceeding to the house.

“Investigations are ongoing. We have learnt that the suspects attacked one of the security guards who patrol the area during the night.

“The guard, Constain Chinoda, was axed in the head before they dispossessed him of his baton which they later used in the robbery at General Rugeje’s home.

“We urge the public to prioritise their security when they are at home,” Nyathi told the Daily News.

He also dismissed social media reports at the time of other shoot-outs in Harare’s Hillside and Waterfalls suburbs.

This comes as daring robbers attempted to rob the Bulawayo High Court in a pre-dawn attack on the same day as the Rugeje incident.

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