THE police force has been challenged to put an end to stock theft and illegal gold mining, which have become so rampant countrywide.
Speaking at a police passout parade in Shamva last Friday, deputy officer commanding Police Protection Unit, Assistant Commissioner Givemore Charamba, said it was unfortunate that some misguided elements within the society had perceived the land reform programme as a chance to engage in criminal activities by vandalising and stealing farming equipment.
He said Government had opened up opportunities for the historically disadvantaged black majority through progressive policies such as the indigenisation of the economy and the land reform programme.
“Of late, we have also witnessed the upsurge of stock theft and illegal gold panning activities. This is a challenge to the Support Unit and, indeed, other police officers to put this menace to an end,” he said.
The Government has called for an immediate end to illegal mining activities countrywide and warned unscrupulous businesspeople who enlist villagers and farm workers to engage in gold panning that the police will not hesitate to bring them to book.
The call and warning were contained in speeches delivered by Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri and Minister of Mines and Mining Development Ambassador Amos Midzi in Harare last week.
Asst Comm Charamba said the police could not watch people of such criminal inclination indiscreetly ravaging the country.
Addressing journalists recently, Ambassador Midzi said the Government had taken a position to ensure that illegal mining and those who promoted such unauthorised activities are brought to book. Asst Comm Charamba said as officers entrusted with the use of lethal weapons, they should always exercise restraint in their use and always observe the “Golden Rules” whenever the need to use them arises.
At least 191 police officers graduated at the passout parade after undergoing a rigorous two-week orientation course while the inductees from the Support Unit and PPU completed three months of intensive battle craft training, designed to prepare them for their tough duties ahead.
Asst Comm Charamba said the ZRP does not brook any form of indiscipline and it had taken a bold decision to commit huge financial and other material resources towards the training and development of the sergeant majors.
“The reintroduction of the sergeant majors rank in the force was a deliberate step taken to ensure that some rotten apples among us do not derail the organisation’s endeavours,” he said.
“As an organisation, we have committed ourselves to providing the highest quality service to the public through our service charter,” Asst Comm Charamba said.
He said this commitment could only be realised if all of them were disciplined and their “paymaster”, the public, could only draw solace and confidence in the force if they show them that they respect their own code of conduct.
“The organisation expects you to exude confidence and show knowledge of the responsibilities bestowed upon you. I, therefore, challenge you to go back to your various stations and seriously study police books and literature to ensure that you keep abreast with the information relevant to your duties,” said Asst Comm Charamba.
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