Gvt Challenged To Adequately Remunerate Soldiers To Prevent Robberies

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By Felix Matasva

CIVIL society organisations, coalescing under the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC), say President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration should adequately remuneration soldiers and police officers as one way of averting cases of armed robberies involving members of the security forces.

Lately Zimbabwe has witnessed a dramatic escalation in armed robberies involving members of security services.

Critics have attributed this government’s failure to pay them decent salaries.

“The President of Zimbabwe, who chairs the National Security Council as per Section 209 of the Constitution, must ensure that security forces are well remunerated and hold their offices in straight jackets,” CiZC said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Whilst crime of any nature cannot be condoned, there is a growing sentiment that the increase in cases of violent crime, including by members of the ZDF, is an indication of rising poverty and government’s failure to honour the social contract- factors that are pushing citizens towards crime as a last resort to attaining livelihoods,” the organisation said.

“While the government has been in overdrive to proclaim the economic gains of the new dispensation, the reality on the ground is that the majority of citizens have been relegated into abject poverty due to the continued economic downturn in Zimbabwe,” it said.

The rights group also urged the justice sector to precisely prosecute all robbery cases in order to secure the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans.

“The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition is deeply worried by the continued deterioration of citizen and business security in the country due to an increase in cases of armed robberies, some of which have resulted in loss of lives.What is most worrying is the fact that most of these robberies have been committed by members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) who are supposed to protect the territorial integrity of the country. As if that is not enough, the speed and frequency of successful prosecution of such cases has been low,” the statement reads.