A spike in shooting incidents across the country has left the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) searching for answers amid indications that there has been a proliferation of unregistered guns.
A week ago, armed men allegedly stormed former Zanu PF commissar Engelbert Rugeje’s house leading to a deadly shootout that involved soldiers who were guarding the property.
One person died during the shootout and another allegedly succumbed to gunshot wounds after he was arrested last week.
Last Thursday, a suspected armed robber was killed by police in a gunfight after he took a Beitbridge family hostage for over 14 hours. In September two men killed a soldier and injured another one in Chivhu after they stormed a police post.
The two, who escaped with two AK-47 rifles, were killed a day later after soldiers were deployed to track them.
ZRP spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi told The Standard they were still investigating the motive of the Chivhu attackers. “We are conducting investigations and we want to get to the bottom of it,” Nyathi said.
He said they were investigating the source of the firearms used in the attacks. “We want to know the source of the firearms and if they are firearms at all,” Nyathi said. “We want to establish whether they are toy guns being used to scare people or not.
“We also want to urge firearms owners to make sure their guns are secure and make sure they comply with the terms of the Firearms Act. “This includes company owners so that the firearms do not fall into wrong hands.
“The investigations are in progress. I can only give details on Monday (tomorrow). I am not at work today.”
One of the intruders at Rugeje’s house was identified as Kudakwashe Mupedzazvose. A Zanu PF youth league membership card belonging to Mupedzazvose was found at the former army boss’s house.
He was arrested on Wednesday with a gunshot wound to the chest but was sent to police holdings cells where he died.
There have been reports of retired and some serving members of the uniformed forces using service guns to engage in criminal activities.
About two weeks ago, two suspected armed robbers believed to be part of a gang that also included an army deserter and an ex-policeman, which had been terrorising residents in and around Belvedere in Harare, were arrested and appeared in court. Standard