HARARE – Police will shoot to kill perpetrators of heinous crimes such as armed robbery, Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga has said.
Matanga was addressing mourners at a funeral parade held in Harare on Wednesday for late Inspector Maxwell Hove who was shot dead last week by former detective Jaison Muvevi.
Muvevi also shot and killed a self-styled apostolic sect prophet and a bartender in Wedza same afternoon while his fourth victim, a junior police officer, was left fighting for his life.
Apprehended on Monday while trying to illegally cross into neighbouring Mozambique, Muvevi appeared in court Wednesday for the first time since his shock shooting rampage.
In remarks delivered at the funeral ceremony of one of Muvevi’s victims, Matanga said police would not hesitate to shoot to kill armed criminals.
“For the avoidance of doubt, as the Zimbabwe Republic Police, we will not stand akimbo while innocent citizens, let alone police officers, are being decimated by unruly malcontents.
“Furthermore, as police officers, we will not hesitate to shoot to kill all perpetrators of heinous crimes such as armed robbery, which is making society apprehensive,” he said.
The police boss said the force was aware that some people ignored the amnesty on unregistered firearms last year and were using them to commit crimes.
“We have also gathered with concern that despite government amnesty on holders of unregistered firearms to surrender them, many such weapons are being recovered at crime scenes.
“Once again, I wish to categorically state that those with unregistered firearms shall be deemed to have criminal intent,” he said.
Last year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared a near two-month long amnesty on all illegal firearm holders to voluntarily surrender the lethal weapons to their nearest police stations with no questions asked.
The amnesty also covered those in possession of weapons which were smuggled or illegally brought into the country.
No criminal charges were preferred on those volunteering the weapons during the stipulated period as long as one complied with the provisions of the Presidential Amnesty.
The amnesty followed a spike in armed robberies and other offences involving the illegal use of the weapons throughout the country.