The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has warned firearm holders to safeguard and stop displaying their firearms in public places.
In a statement, Police national spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the police will not hesitate to withdraw firearm licences from those who defy the directive.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police urges members of the public and organisations who are licensed to possess firearms in terms of provisions of the Firearms Act, Chapter 10:09 for various reasons which include cash-in-transit, crop protection, and business premises security to religious comply with the law and stop carrying or displaying such firearms in public gatherings, shopping centres, service stations and other public places.
“The Police will not hesitate to enforce the withdrawal of the firearm licences, besides effecting arrests on anyone who abuses the privilege of legally owning a firearm. The public is therefore reminded to take this warning seriously. Meanwhile, all licensed firearm holders should ensure that firearms are properly and safely secured at all times to curb cases where they end in wrong hands,” Assistant Commissioner Nyathi said.
The warning comes at a time cases of armed robberies have soared to alarming levels with victims losing valuables.
Cases of armed robberies increased countrywide last year with criminals targeting cash-in transit vehicles, individuals and business people with large amounts of cash at homes and business premises.
Schools, churches and cross-border buses also became regular targets for the perpetrators of gun-related crimes, resulting in the loss of millions of dollars and other valuables.
Law enforcement agents have of late scored successes by apprehending the suspects, one such example is the January 2021 robbery of US$2,775 million and $43 000 cash-in-transit ZB Bank vehicle along Harare-Chinhoyi Road which was believed to be an inside job where three security personnel in the vehicle allegedly connived with robbers with three security staff and their more than eight accomplices arrested.