Po­lice out in full force in Beit­bridge

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Freeman Razemba in Beit­bridge

MORE armed po­lice de­tails will soon be de­ployed to pa­trol along the Lim­popo River, fol­low­ing re­ports that some armed crim­i­nals were now tak­ing the area as a hide­out where they are op­er­at­ing from and ter­ror­is­ing res­i­dents and farm­ers here.

This was re­vealed by the Anti-Stock Theft na­tional co-or­di­na­tor Se­nior As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Eras­mus Makodza dur­ing a meet­ing he held at Lu­tumba in Beit­bridge Ru­ral with tra­di­tional lead­ers, se­nior of­fi­cers, busi­ness­peo­ple, se­nior Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and farm­ers.

Dur­ing the meet­ing, it was re­vealed that cat­tle rustlers and other crim­i­nals were us­ing some ar­eas along the Lim­popo River to hide their loot and to even kill and skin the live­stock. “We are go­ing to heav­ily de­ploy armed per­son­nel to pa­trol along the river and deal with armed crim­i­nals. Some of the crim­i­nals pre­fer us­ing the river but would be armed and all we are say­ing is that the long arm of the law will soon catch up with them,” Snr Asst Comm Makodza said.

He said they had also gath­ered in­for­ma­tion that some po­lice de­tails were be­ing used by crim­i­nals to steal cat­tle among other ne­far­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties.

“The po­lice force does not con­done such ac­tions and all those po­lice of­fi­cers in­volved in such prac­tices when ar­rested, they will face sim­i­lar charges as those of crim­i­nals and they will be dealt with in terms of the law. We will discharge them from the force,” he said.

Snr Asst Comm Makodza said they were aware that some lo­cals were cross­ing into neighour­ing coun­tries such as South Africa to steal cat­tle which they would smug­gle back into the coun­try through il­le­gal en­try cross­ing points.

He said there were also some crim­i­nals in neigh­bour­ing coun­tries who were do­ing the same.

Snr Asst Comm Makodza said they had come up with ad­e­quate strate­gies and mea­sures to deal with th­ese crim­i­nals in or­der to pro­tect the na­tional herd.

He said for the past years, they had been con­duct­ing joint op­er­a­tions with their coun­ter­parts which had re­sulted in the ar­rest of some of the crim­i­nals and re­cov­ery of both live­stock and var­i­ous goods.

Snr Asst Comm Makodza urged farm­ers and peo­ple to join the Vil­lage Anti-Stock Theft com­mit­tees and work to­gether with the po­lice to curb crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties.

He said after join­ing such com­mit­tees, they will be able to con­duct night road­blocks and pa­trols with po­lice of­fi­cers.

Beit­bridge Dis­trict Anti-Stock Theft chair­man Mr Sa­muel Mlauzi said over the week­end, six sus­pected cat­tle rustlers were ap­pre­hended in South Africa after they stole four beasts which they killed along the Lim­popo River be­fore sell­ing the meat.

The six, who are all lo­cals, are de­tained at Beit­bridge Po­lice Sta­tion and as­sist­ing po­lice with in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Head­man Tshi­noni also ex­pressed con­cern over some of the crim­i­nals whom he said were op­er­at­ing from the neigh­bour­ing coun­try.

Cde Ig­natius Chombo

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