Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
POLICE have resumed their duties as the situation in the country has normalised following the inauguration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and will conduct joint patrols with members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, the country’s security services said yesterday.
The latest development follows the launch of Operation Restore Legacy by the ZDF two weeks ago to remove criminal elements surrounding former President Mugabe.
The operation saw the detention of former Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo, who is facing abuse of public office charges and ex-Zanu-PF youth leader Kudzanai Chipanga who is facing charges of causing disaffection among the police force or defence forces as defined in Section 30 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
The two have since appeared in court and their cases are still pending.
In a joint statement following the ZDF operation, the army director of public relations, Colonel Overson Mugwisi and national police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba yesterday said the Zimbabwe Republic Police is now resuming its role as stipulated in the Constitution.
“We the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the Security Services of Zimbabwe wish to inform the nation that the situation in our country has returned to normalcy following the historic inauguration of His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Head of State and Government and Commander- In -Chief of the Defence Forces, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa on 24 November 2017, which has set a new trajectory,” reads the joint statement.
“We wish, therefore, to advise the nation that the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is now assuming its role as stipulated in the Constitution of Zimbabwe under Section 219, which among other things mandates the ZRP to maintain Law and Order protect and secure the lives and property of the people.”
They said the ZDF and police would conduct joint patrols especially in the Harare Central Business District.
The statement said looting and illegal occupation of other people’s properties particularly farms and houses would not be tolerated.
“Law enforcement agents are already receiving reports of looting and illegal occupation of other people’s properties particularly farms and houses. This behaviour is criminal and against the spirit of non-vengeful retribution and will be met by the full wrath of the law,” the statement added.
“We, therefore, remain committed to serve our country. Zimbabwe is a peace-loving nation as demonstrated during the past week. We accordingly urge all citizens to remain committed to peace. We remain guided by His Excellency, President E.D Mnangagwa’s inaugural speech, particularly where he spoke about unity and self-discipline by all. Let us all remain united and respectful of our national laws and by-laws as we uphold the rule of law.”
Police, who have been previously condemned for corruption, using heavy handed tactics and brutality against civilians among other acts, said their operations’ and programmes would be people centred.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police would want to assure the nation that it will strive to ensure that all its operations and programmes will be people-centred in accordance with the vision of His Excellency, the President, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa. We would want to urge our nation to remain united and co-operate with security services as they discharge their duties,” reads the joint statement.