President Emmerson Mnangagwa has threatened a shoot-to-kill policy to deal with the growing threat of armed robberies, amid reports that security officers were also involved in such crimes.
Recently, armed robbers have been targeting houses, companies and motorists on the highways with most of them being reportedly serving and former army and police officers.
Reports indicate that the criminals were taking advantage of porous borders to bring ammunition to Zimbabwe from neighbouring South Africa.
Other robbers are said to be using their service firearms to engage in violent crimes.
“Lately, we have witnessed an upsurge in gun-related crimes,” Mnangagwa said in his Unity Day message.
“There is a clear upsurge in the abuse of firearms, including violent armed robberies. The government now treats this as a grave threat to personal and national security.”
“Decisive measures have now become necessary to put an end to this growing menace that threatens our otherwise peaceful, law-abiding nation and citizenry. Those who dabble in arms will soon fall by the sword. Let them be warned.”
Top police and military brass have confirmed that some of their members and former officers were engaging in criminal activities.
Recently, a former police detective Joseph Nemaisa gunned down a soldier and former cop at his Chadcombe home in Harare after they attempted to rob his family.
Several cases of armed robberies in the recent past have implicated security services personnel.