30 cops leave for Lesotho

Part of the ZRP peacekeeping contingent for Lesotho elections attends a debriefing workshop at Police General Headquarters in Harare yesterday

Part of the ZRP peacekeeping contingent for Lesotho elections attends a debriefing workshop at Police General Headquarters in Harare yesterday

Crime Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Republic Police has deployed 30 officers from the Support Unit under the Sadc observer mission to provide security and maintain peace during general elections to be held in Lesotho on February 28.

The team from the unit’s Romeo Troop, which will be led by Chief Superintendent Cosmas Mushore, left Harare yesterday afternoon by road and are expected to return on March 5.

Of the 30 officers, 23 are men while seven are women. Addressing the team in Harare yesterday, Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, said the team was “self-contained”, highly-trained, multi-skilled and compact.

He said they had the ability to handle complex public disorder situations effectively. “A special mention, acknowledgement and commendation is fitting for our female officers who are part of this contingent. The female officers in the organisation continue to assert and prove themselves through undoubted merit. They have definitely confirmed their status as outright courageous and astute achievers,” he said.

Comm-Gen Chihuri said the officers were tried and tested to execute directed assignments effectively.

“As an organisation, we consider it a truly humbling honour to have been invited to undertake this noble and important designated assignment for the country, Zimbabwe,” he said.

He said the Lesotho assignment which follows the force’s recent deployment at the just-ended Africa Cup of Nations Games in Equatorial Guinea under operation code-named “Operation African Pride’’ was a vote of confidence in the ZRP.

“The operation to be undertaken in Lesotho is part of SADC deployment to assist in security provision for the smooth flow of the election process. Zimbabwe has been called upon to assist in this critical process for Lesotho.”

He said he was happy to note that the officers were well-resourced, comfortable and poised to undertake the assignment.

The officer commanding Support Unit Senior Assistant Commissioner Mekia Tanyanyiwa said the officers would be heavily armed but their weapons would be stored until the need arises.

The latest development comes after the strong security team, which was deployed to provide VVIP protection at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Equatorial Guinea at the request of the host country recently returned home after successfully carrying out its mission.

The tournament, which started on January 17, ended on February 8.

The contingent comprised Zimbabwe Defence Forces members, the Zimbabwe Republic Police and other members of the security services.

All the costs to do with the month-long operation were borne by the Equatorial Guinea government.