By Anna Chibamu
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has issued a stern warning to individuals and groups sending alarming messages and engaging in socially and economically destabilising activities.
In a statement on the security situation in the country, National Police Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said ZRP was ready to deal with any “unruly elements”.
He also assured Zimbabweans that the security situation in the country was peaceful and conducive for all socio-economic activities to take effect.
“Police are aware of efforts by certain individuals and groups to engage in nefarious social and economic destabilizing activities through unsanctioned gatherings, economic sabotage and sending alarming messages to the public through social media and some activists.
“ZRP has a constitutional obligation to maintain law and order in the country and ensure that the Second Republic’s developmental projects under the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) take place in a conducive environment.
“Therefore, any criminal inclination by individuals or groups will be decisively dealt with by the police,” Nyathi said
He added, “May I therefore, reiterate and assure Zimbabweans that the Zimbabwe Republic Police is ready to deal with any malcontent and unruly elements bend on causing chaos, disorder and despondency among Zimbabweans in the year 2024, urging Zimbabweans to continue with their normal day to day activities as the safety and security of everyone was guaranteed in the country.”
Nyathi emphasized on the need for the public to report any acts of disturbance to any local police station or the National Complaints Desk.
According to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT), crimes related to public safety and state security are the most common in Zimbabwe, reporting an increase in crime acts from July to September compared to April to June last year.
ZIMSTAT acting director-general Mationesa Phiri recently said police recorded 65 173 crimes against public safety and state security out of a total 182 427 offences recorded during the third quarter of the year which runs from July to September 2023.
The total 182 427 cases is a 2.5 per cent increase from 178 031 offences recorded in the second quarter, that is April to June.
From July to September, the crime rate for offences committed against public order and state security was 429.4 per 100 000 population, and this was an increase from 373.8 per 100 000 recorded in the second quarter of 2023.
“Of the 182 427 cases recorded in the third quarter of 2023, crimes against public safety and state security were the most common with 65 173 cases being recorded,” Phiri said.
The situation has also been exacerbated by the political tensions following the contested August 2023 harmonised elections.