Violent gun crimes on the rise in Zimbabwe

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Shootouts have become common in Zimbabwe in recent weeks.

The government says there is a sudden uptick in the number of violent crimes involving guns.

Government officials and police are blaming this on the return of what they call hardcore criminals during COVID-19.

These suspects are allegedly based in neighbouring countries, especially South Africa.

Zimbabwe’s Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe said police will deal with the offenders.

“You have seen what happened in Beitbridge, there are so many cases that these fugitives are clashing with police,” Kazembe said.

“I am glad police are doing a  good job. We have had people who were on the run for a very long time and known to be serious criminals.”

Kazembe says Zimbabwe’s government is also working to extradite several former ministers who served under former President Robert Mugabe.

These former government officials have now sought refuge elsewhere, including in South Africa.

The minister says they have cases to answer to.

“Anyone who has a case to answer and who is outside the country is a fugitive. Police are keen to interview them they should come back and clear their names,” Kazembe said.