The government has given police crack teams the green light to shoot and kill suspected armed robbers following a surge in violent crime in the past few weeks.
Presidential spokesperson George Charamba announced the new measures on Monday after police and armed robbers were involved in a series of gunfights in Harare over the weekend.
Two more suspects involved in a shootout with law enforcement agents last week succumbed to the injuries, bringing the number of armed robbers shot dead during the weekend gunfire exchange to three. Charamba tweeted:
Guys, stop these armed robberies, you will die. I have warned you, the government will not hesitate. You are a dead man walking, trust me.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe also said the government would, from now on, show no mercy on the armed robbers. He said:
The armed robbers are being accounted for. Seven notorious ones were accounted for on Sunday.
Police will descend on them heavily and the long arm of the law will catch up with them.
Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) national spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi on Monday assured members of the public that all known armed robbers will be accounted for. He said:
We are not going back and the crack teams that we set up are all over the country tracking the armed robbers, so to those who will try to hide, they will certainly be found and arrested.
The public must rest in the comfort that the police currently are on top of the situation and we are tracking all known armed robbers as evidenced by what happened last weekend.
So far, from those we arrested, three people have died. Yesterday, we were talking of one robber who died, now they are three. One of them died this (yesterday) morning.