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Mnangagwa's gun amnesty fails to bring down violent crime

by Staff reporter
22 Dec 2023 at 22:33hrs | Views

A PRESIDENTIAL amnesty on illegal firearm holders has done little to stop violent crime as Zimbabwe continues to witness armed robberies.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa in August last year declared an amnesty on all illegal firearm holders to voluntarily surrender them to their nearest police stations with no questions asked.

The amnesty followed a spike in armed robberies and other offences involving the use of firearms throughout the country.

At least 538 guns were surrendered before the deadline of the amnesty.

The amnesty was later extended.

However, Zimbabwe has continued to witness violent crime involving the use of unlicensed firearms.

In a statement, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi warned criminals that the law enforcement agency was ready to respond to violent crime in a proportionate manner.

Nyathi was responding to the killing of two armed robbers, including a South African national, in Arcadia, Harare, on Tuesday.

"The police assures the public that it will account for all criminals and ensure the law takes its course. Any form of confrontation with the police will be met with an appropriate response," Nyathi said.

According to the Zimbabwe Statistical Agency (ZimStat), the country is witnessing a rise in robber cases.

"The Zimbabwean community has of late experienced more incidences of crime that include theft, robbery, sexual offences, drug-related crimes and murder," ZimStat said in its 2023 3rd quarter crime statistics report.

"Such vices leave society entangled with emotional, psychological and physical damage. In addition, acts of crime may result in tensions within families, financial losses, expenditures on private deterrence, mental disorders and loss of life."

Reports indicate that criminals are smuggling firearms into Zimbabwe.

ZimStat added: "To this end, the production of crime statistics informs policy development and planning in the criminal justice system. Further, crime statistics expose crime trends in communities thereby enabling law enforcement arms to develop strategic interventions to curtail growth in crime rates."

In the Arcadia case, Nyathi yesterday confirmed the death of Jabulani Ngobeni (45) and Godknows Machingura (44) during a shootout incident and the arrest of Ndiafhi Makhado (39), Andrew Masubelele (38), Paul Zhou (55) and Emmanuel Makamo (22) for conspiracy to commit armed robbery in Kwekwe on December 19, 2023.

He said Makhado, Ngobeni, Masubelele and Makamo travelled from South Africa with the intention to commit armed robberies.

On December 19, detectives from CID Homicide Harare received information that the suspects were booked at a guest house along Mauritius Road in Arcadia.

The detectives raided the guest house, resulting in the suspects bolting out.

Nyathi said Ngobeni fired shots towards the detectives and a shootout ensued, resulting in him being shot in the hip.

Subsequently, Ngobeni, Makhado, Masubelele, Zhou and Makamo were arrested.

The arrest led to the recovery of a 9mm Star pistol loaded with four rounds of ammunition.

Makhado, Ngobeni, Masubelele and Makamo were injured during the shootout and were referred to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals for treatment, where Ngobeni died on admission.

Zhou confessed to the detectives that he booked the accommodation and hired two vehicles, a Toyota Fortuner registration number AFX 0554 and a Honda Fit vehicle AFO 7446, after receiving US$400 from Machingura.

The suspects revealed to the detectives that they had hatched a plan to commit robbery along Birmingham Road in Kwekwe.

Machingura was said to be in Shamva where he was monitoring the movement of their target.

Subsequently, he was lured to Morgan High School in Arcadia, where he was arrested after being shot in the groin following a high-speed chase and a shootout with the detectives.

His arrest led to the recovery of a 9mm Taurus pistol with a magazine of nine live rounds. Machingura was referred to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, where he died upon admission.

Nyathi said the law enforcement agency had also gathered information to the effect that the criminals wanted to kidnap some prominent people in the country for ransom.

Meanwhile, police have released the names of six of the nine people who died in a road traffic accident at the 43km peg along the Harare-Mukumbura Highway on Monday.

They are Loice Kapinga (24), a female adult of Chinhango Street in Manera, Banket, Shadreck Chigora (18), a male adult of Machiringe Primary School, Mary Mount, Rushinga, George Maforo (36), a male adult of Chinhango Street, Manera, Banket, Tanyaradzwa Gomo (5), a female juvenile of Kaunda Street Banket, Angela Kuhondo (6), a female juvenile of 24 Chinhango Street, Manera, Banket and Nyasha Faisoni (21), a female adult of Nduku Village, Mazowe.

The identification of three other victims is awaiting DNA results.

Police also released the names of seven of the eight people who died in an accident along the Harare-Bulawayo Highway near National Museum of African Liberation in Warren Park, Harare, last Friday.

They are Spencer Kaseke (24), a male adult of Kuwadzana 5, Fortune Murandu (35), a female adult of Kuwadzana Extension, Letwin Shamhu (55), a female adult of Kuwadzana 3, Magada Benny (27), a male adult of New Malborough, Ruth Anderson (35), a female adult of Glen Norah, Andrena Chesure (30), of Kuwadzana Phase 3 and Gunguwo Principal Sam (24), a male adult of Makwasina Escrow in Zvishavane.

The remaining victim is yet to identified.

Source - newsday
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