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Zimbabwe: Illegal firearms a concern

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National police spokesperson Paul Nyathi, yesterday expressed concern by the increase of unlicensed firearms in public hands, which are then used to commit violent crimes though it was too early to say the country was witnessing an increase in armed robberies.

This comes amid intensified investigations into the weekend shoot-out at Retired Lieutenant General Engelbert Rugeje’s residence, where a robber was shot dead. “There is a rise in the number of people with firearms and we are keen to establish their source and make sure that the law takes its course,” he said. Nyathi also revealed that during Sunday’s attempted robbery at Rugeje’s residence, police had established that the bandits had first struck a member of the neighbourhood security with an axe, before proceeding to his house. “Investigations are ongoing. We have learnt that the suspects attacked one of the security guards who patrol the area during the night. “The guard, Constain Chinoda, was axed in the head before they dispossessed him of his baton which they later used in the robbery at General Rugeje’s home. “We urge members of the public to prioritise their security when they are at home,” Nyathi said. This comes as police have been tracking notorious armed robbers who have been involved in a series of violent crimes at business premises and private homes around the country. “We are happy that at the moment we are on top of the situation because in most of the robbery cases we have received, arrests have been made,” said Nyathi

Two months ago, law enforcement agents busted one of the country’s most notorious armed robbery gangs during a shoot-out in Beitbridge where police recovered an range of weapons used by the gang in their criminal activities. The notorious gang is currently in prison, awaiting trial.

Liberty Pazvakawambwa SADC News

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