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Police demand stiffer penalties for robbers

by Staff reporter
18 Jun 2021 at 07:26hrs | Views
POLICE are lobbying the Judiciary and Legislature to come up with stiffer penalties on armed robbers following a surge in violent robberies in recent weeks.

This comes at a time when notorious armed robber Musa Taj Abdul and his eight accomplices have been sentenced to an effective three-year term each for a spate of robberies across the country. Police dismissed the sentence as non-deterrent.

Abdul has other pending cases in the court.

Zimbabwe is witnessing a surge in violent crimes, particularly armed robberies targeting shops, cash-in-transit vehicles and people's homes.

Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe said the government was worried over an increase in violent crimes as he revealed that police were engaging the Legislature and Judiciary to lobby for stiffer sentences against criminals.

"The police command is engaging the Judiciary urging them to impose stiffer penalties on perpetrators of violent crimes such as armed robberies, muggings and murder as a deterrent measure," Kazembe told Parliamentarians yesterday.

"It is also in this regard that we continue to appeal to the House to tighten the legislation so that fugitive armed robbers when finally caught are not easily given bail."

Kazembe was responding to a question on crime-fighting initiatives being employed by the law enforcement agency.

"In fact, some of the armed robberies are being committed by such elements who flout bail conditions with impunity, for instance the notorious armed robber Taj Abdul, who has been evading justice for more than 20 years. When he was arrested, he was on the brink of being granted bail," Kazembe added.

Some of the robberies are reportedly being committed by people wearing police or army uniform.

Police have also said their investigations showed that the armed robbers are using smuggled guns to terrorise people.

"In addition, the (Police) Commissioner-General (Godwin Matanga) has directed all officers commanding provinces to deploy Support Unit, Criminal Investigations Department, Duty Uniform Branch and Police Intelligence in hotspots to curtail the robbery cases," Kazembe added.

"Furthermore, there are numerous on-going measures aimed at curbing armed robberies, burglaries and muggings which include the following: intensifying foot, cycle and motorised patrols in crime-prone areas."

Source - newsday

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