Police need to intensify deployments and patrols in the wake of rising rates of violent crimes so far this year, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe has said.
Speaking at the launch of the ZRP Cottco Awards in Harare he said between January and September last year, police recorded 267 829 cases as compared to 277 973 recorded during the same period this year.
“This reflects a 3,7 percent increase in crime. As ministry and Government, we enjoin the Zimbabwe Republic Police to make a sustained effort in taming the tide of criminality.
“As I have stated on previous occasions, crimes such as armed robberies, murder and gender-based violence which are on the rise, call upon all of us to fully commit ourselves in not only curtailing their growth, but uprooting them as well,” he said.
He remained mindful that the bulk of police work is very demanding, stressful and usually less appreciated.
“Therefore, these ZRP Cottco Awards will have great significance especially for our young officers who are still learning to endure and cope with the ever-demanding challenges of policing a diverse society.
“Such awards, I am optimistic, will be a clear indication that outstanding work is seen and rewarded. We thus remain indebted to Cottco for partnering us in this important endeavour,” Minister Kazembe said.
The awards will be available quarterly at provincial level and annually for the cop of the year accolade and that would help keep members within the rank and file highly motivated as they work towards clinching these coveted awards.
“It is common for us to sleep uneasy when dangerous and violent criminals terrorise our communities and we always welcome with much gladness news of their arrest.
“However, very few if any find occasion to applaud the courageous and selfless feats by our men and women in uniform.”
“That pat on the back emboldens their resolve to go beyond the limits of their abilities in fulfilment of their constitutional mandate. Hence the launch of these awards is a welcome development,” the minister said.
Cottco chief executive Mr Pius Manamike said police were critical in providing security to the nation and ensuring that a peaceful environment for business and all awful economic activities thrive.
Cottco was Government’s agent in managing the cotton Presidential Input Scheme and has been doing this for the past five years and the noble and timely intervention by Government spearheaded by President Mnangagwa has seen cotton production grow from 28 000 tonnes to 132 000 tonnes in 2021.
“This increase production has seen the nation benefiting from foreign currency earnings and increased economic activities in rural areas where cotton is grown. While this increased economic activity is a good development, this has come with its own challenges in the form of a surge in criminal activities in these communities.
“We expect the force to be equal to the challenge by eliminating criminality and also look forward to the enforcement of statutory instruments that ensure that there is sanity in the marketing of agricultural produce so as to eliminate side marketing,” he said.
Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga said together they had worked tirelessly contributing in their diverse ways towards the development of agriculture in the country.
“What therefore remains is for police officers to work tirelessly and be recognised. Importantly, the stride by Cottco galvanises our ongoing efforts to boost the morale and work ethic of our police officers as we endeavour to tame the tide of criminality,” he said.
He appealed to the corporate world to partner the police in various facets of policing so that they collectively entrench a crime free society.