Mukudzei Chingwere
Herald Reporter
Security services are redoubling efforts to fight violent crime and corruption and want the public to help by reporting suspicious behaviour.

Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe yesterday said violent crime, corruption and the abuse of social and other media, and the resulting upsurge in fake news reports remained high on the law enforcement agenda.

In his statement, Minister Kazembe urged citizens to be on the guard against criminals and report suspicious behaviour wherever it manifested.

“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,” he said.

This comes after a series of incidents in recent weeks where police exchanged gunfire with criminals with several people, including security personnel, dying in gun battles.

Last month in Chivhu, two suspected criminals killed a soldier and fled with two AK-47 rifles while soldiers were also badly injured in a shoot-out with the thugs. But after a smart operation mounted by the security forces, the two suspects were tracked down and killed a day after killing the soldier.

This week, an armed gang attacked the Mt Pleasant home of Lieutenant-General (Retired) Engelbert Rugeje where a suspected criminal was killed.

On Thursday, another suspected criminal was killed by police in a gunfight after he had been holed up with hostages in a stand-off that lasted 14 hours in Beitbridge. The suspect was on the police wanted list in connection with several armed robberies.

On corruption, Minister Kazembe said citizens must play an active role in reporting cases and help in the identification and location of suspects.

“Corruption remains a cancer that gnaws slowly against our thrust as a nation towards the Vision 2030 trajectory set out by His Excellency, President ED Mnangagwa. The law enforcement agencies are rebounding their efforts to tackle the scourge, working in concert with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and the Special Anti-Corruption Unit in the Office of the President and Cabinet.”

Minister Kazembe said authorities were also seized with securing the return of fugitives from justice that were scattered in various parts of the globe.

Zimbabwe was renowned for its fair justice system which meant the courts would clear innocent suspects and convict the guilty.

“As law enforcement agencies, our role is to bring suspects to justice, then the normal procedures take effect. We urge the suspects to do themselves a favour by voluntarily returning to clear their names if they are innocent.”

“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. They are trying to subvert our economic revival efforts,” said Minister Kazembe.

He said peace and stability were needed in the country’s quest to attain an upper middle income society by 2030.

“The peace and stability in Zimbabwe is what guarantees and secures the path to the attainment of Vision 2030, which we must all rally behind.”

“I call upon all peace-loving citizens to play their part in this journey and help fight violent crime, corruption and subversion spearheaded by malcontents whose only mission is to try to grab power unconstitutionally and violently for their own personal greed purposes and against the dictates of our democracy and constitutionalism.”