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Zimbabwe's shoot to kill policy to stay

by Staff reporter
29 Jan 2024 at 12:17hrs | Views
POLICE say they will not hesitate to shoot resistant criminal suspects citing the need to protect the lives of its officers dealing with armed robberies.

Police are cracking down on a spate of armed robberies committed across Zimbabwe, with some investigations leading to fatal shoot-outs between the law enforcement officers and the suspects.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police are under the spotlight over the loss of lives and injury of suspects who would have been shot while in the custody of law enforcement agents after allegedly trying to run away during indications.

Rights defenders have also raised concern over allegations of torture and harassment of suspects while in police custody.In an exclusive interview with NewsDay on Friday last week, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said they would use the "appropriate response" to confrontation and resistance by criminal offenders.

"Anyone raising concerns about alleged shoot-outs should justify. The Zimbabwe Republic Police has had police officers who have died or (have been) injured when robbers decide to be confrontational and engage in violent clashes with police officers.

"The Zimbabwe Republic Police has made its position clear that any form of confrontation or resistance or clashes with the police crack teams will be met with appropriate response," he said.

Earlier this month, an armed robber died on admission at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals following a shoot-out with police in Nyatsime, Chitungwiza.

In another incident, police shot two suspected armed robbers in Masvingo on the legs during indications after they allegedly fled the scene in different directions. In December, police shot and killed two suspected armed robbers during a shoot-out in Arcadia, Harare.

Police have also fallen victim to armed robbers' attacks. In Masvingo this month, armed robbers shot and injured a police officer and stripped naked others while they were manning a roadblock.

Police warned suspects against being confrontational with the police.

"In other words, the prevailing situation will determine how police react and respond to violent scenes. Remember police officers are human beings who enjoy the same human rights as every citizen and need the support, co-operation of every Zimbabwean, and safety to perform duties in an effective manner," Nyathi said.

Meanwhile, Nyathi warned businesspeople against keeping large sums of money at home, as cases of armed robbery are on the rise.He said insiders were conniving with robbers to commit the crimes.

"The Zimbabwe Republic Police has always reiterated that businesspersons, families and companies must not keep large sums of money at home and business premises. Records indicate that most high-profile robbery cases have an element of inside information.

"The police are conducting awareness campaigns, and setting up crack teams which have recorded tremendous results in terms of arrests, recovery of stolen propertyand prosecution by the courts. There is no going back in the Zimbabwe Republic Police's fight against robbery cases in the country," Nyathi said.

Source - newsday