Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
ZRP recorded an increase in cases of rape involving children between January and May this year compared to the same period last year, ZRP Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri said yesterday.
There were 1 494 cases of rape recorded this year against 1 384 last year.
Comm-General Chihuri said this while addressing a graduation parade of 403 police officers at Morris Depot.
However, he said the general crime rate declined by 14 percent in the same period.
“I wish to point out that crime in general went down by 14 percent from 168 687 cases reported between January and May 2013 to 144 491 cases recorded during the same period in 2014.
“It is, however, disturbing to note that cases of rape involving juveniles increased as 1 494 cases were recorded between January and May compared to 1 384 cases received during the same period in 2013.
“Undoubtedly, such a grim picture demands robust action from all stakeholders in order to safeguard the lives of our children who are the mainstay of future generation.
“It is also our fervent hope that the wheels of justice should tirelessly ensure that the perpetrators of this heinous crime face the full wrath of the law,” Comm-Gen Chihuri said.
Government has since set up an inter-ministerial committee to deal with the increase in the cases of rape and Vice President Joice Mujuru has launched a nationwide campaign to combat the crime.
Comm-Gen Chihuri also condemned the recent attack on police officers, journalists and Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe officials by members of the Johanne Masowe eChishanu in Budiriro.
“We are deeply perturbed by the wilful disregard of the laws of this country by some elements in our society. What is apparently shocking about the reckless disregard for the law is that men and women of the cloth are perpetrators.
“This contradiction is not only deplorable but shameful, ungodly and loathsome. The attack on police officers carrying out their constitutional duties is the height of delinquent behaviour, which should never find any breeding space in our country and is thus roundly condemned,” he said.
He said the ZRP was mandated by the country’s Constitution to maintain law and order and safeguard lives and property and warned that they would not hesitate to arrest anyone found on the wrong side of the law.
He also said the ZRP was committed to playing its part in the successful implementation of Zim-Asset.
“Policing should find meaning in the economic realities of a nation and as such the ZRP is deeply committed to playing a pivotal role insuring the success of the Zim-Asset. In a determined endeavour to fulfil the objectives of the Government’s economic turn around efforts, the organisation recently conducted a Results Based Management Course.
“This course was aimed at equipping police officers with the requisite skills and knowledge to effectively implement this important programme,” Comm-Gen Chihuri said.
Meanwhile, the ZRP has completed the first phase of the Automated Fingerprint Identification System and Comm-Gen Chihuri appealed to Treasury to fund the purchase of the Fingerprint Search Engine to facilitate real-time processing of fingerprints.