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Opinion / Columnist

Trigger happy police officers a disgrace

23 Feb 2018 at 19:02hrs | Views
The shooting of one unarmed civilian and the injurying of the other two by police yesterday afternoon in Harare during a time when the country is healing from a political, social and economic challenge is a cause of concern.

There was an outcry about the shooting and it has been  condemned by many people across the country. There was property destruction at Harare central police station as the angry mob retaliated to the shooting.

This was triggered by police who have shot two innocent by standers in a stand-off earlier on at the Chitungwiza fly over in the capital. The fiasco was on the now reversed ban on commuter omnibuses plying from locations into the capital's central business district.

Anti-riot police officers threw tear smoke canisters and wantonly beat members of the public who were suspected of causing trouble although some claim the beating was indiscriminate.

Police officers started shooting warning shots in the air trying to chase away the commuter omnibuses who were resisting the move.

Police cars have been targeted and some of them burnt and a fire was set at Harare Central police, where protesters were against the unpopular police service and started throwing stones.

Some innocent journalists who were attempting to cover the fighting were unwelcome by both sides and they had to depart after someone cried out to the media.

Earlier on there were running battles between police and tear gassed kombi drivers over the hugely unpopular directive which as reported earlier on has been reversed by the government.

Such kind of barbaric behaviour is not welcome in a country which has neen grappling with economic and political challenges

This sad development was unfortunate and the police officers who fired at unarmed civilians should be brought to book. The police officers failed to apply the five rules of a firearm in order to achieve their goals. Police must first fire warning shots or  shoot to injure than shoot to kill. The police has shown its incompetence to deal with riotous mob. There is need to send our law enforcing agents back to a refresher course and learn on how to deal with such scenarios. Their training needs to be revisited and improved in that sector.

Instead of protecting the civilians they are elimating them.Zimbabweans are peace loving people and are not all that violent do not move around with guns and even the hard core criminals are no longer moving with guns like in South Africa. May the departed soul rest in perfect peace.

We are preaching about Zimbabwe being the safest and conducive place to do business but shooting civilians in skirmishes and disturbances is deplorable. The Commissioner of Police Gideon Matanga has a task to nature his lieutenants and turn them into a professional force.

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Source - Leonard Koni
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