Outspoken Norton MP, Temba Mliswa (Independent), has urged the government to deploy the army to assist the police in combating rampant armed robberies across the country.
Mliswa noted that the army assisted the police in enforcing the coronavirus-induced lockdowns and should therefore be unleashed on armed robbers who have become a terror in recent months. Mliswa posted on Twitter:
The incidents of armed robbery have reached unprecedented levels, it’s worrying. We’ve seen the army being deployed to maintain regulations during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, can’t the same be done to deal with these armed robbers who are wreaking havoc?
If [the police] do not have the capacity, can’t the army step in to ensure safety in the country before things degenerate even further?
Zimbabwe is generally a peaceful country, but this peace is being shattered by these criminals. Who will invest under such conditions?
Govt must come in with an operation involving the army to nip this criminality in the bud. The operation should not be limited to roadblocks but the army must be with the people to safeguard the people and these places being targeted.
Mliswa believes the head of the police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga doesn’t have what it takes to combat crime.
He said in spite of his obvious shortcomings, former Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri prised over an effective police force. Added Mliswa:
The Police and Army should strategically monitor some of these service stations. Where are you Army when you are needed? You’re the last line of defence.
Unfortunately, the Police don’t have a leader in Matanga and are failing dismally to maintain order.
Chihuri with all his shortcomings and corruption nevertheless ran a tight ship and the police were a force to reckon with. Something clearly lacking with today’s crop.
Mliswa’s call follows a spate of armed robberies across the country in recent weeks, with businesses and individuals losing thousands of cash and other valuables. Several people have also been shot dead or seriously injured during the robberies.