THE Presidium of the opposition Labour Economists and Afrikan Democrats (LEAD) has urged Government to decisively deal with the escalating cases of armed robberies carried out by some of the personnel in the country’s security sector.
In a statement issued Thursday by LEAD presidential spokesperson Everjoy Chidindi, the LEAD Presidium raised concern that rogue soldiers and police officers had turned into brutal cold-blooded murderers, robbing and even killing innocent citizens they are supposed to protect.
“We appeal with the government to take proper action and reprimand these forces against abuse of power and brutal cold blood murders of innocent citizens they are supposed to protect.
“It is worrisome when security members commit armed robbers, free on bail and are not put in protective care by the army; are allowed to go home and they continue in the robbing spree. It’s negligence on the part of the army and we call upon them to act decisively and protect the public by keeping these criminals in army jail’s,” read the statement.
“Growing up we all reverred soldiers and policemen and felt so safe and comfortable around soldiers. One could actually aspire to be a soldier. Today it is another story because every other day there is a case of misconduct or violence against civilians by members of the ZNA and ZRP.
“This is causing a devastating rise in murder cases as a result of misuse of firearms. In our knowledge of the law members of the ZNA must abide by the laws of the country and respect citizens in protecting them.
“The song “kune nzira dzemasoja dzekuzvibata nadzo teererai mitemo yose…” is exactly a reflection of the board of rules that governs ZNA.
“Our appeal to the government of Zimbabwe is that they take swift action about these rogue elements within the security sector and protect our citizens before the situation gets out of hand.”
On Unity Day, President Mnangagwa also mentioned that the armed robberies and murders involving security personnel was now a national security issue and warned the perpetrators of a stern response.
However, barely three days after he issued the warning, some serving soldiers went on a robbery spree. On Christmas eve, two soldiers robbed a Hatfield family of US$40 000 and killed one man. The perpetrators have since been arrested.
On Christmas Day, a serving soldier gunned down four villagers in Mhondoro-Ngezi and injured three others over some misunderstanding.