Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe said while the Government has not adopted a shoot-to-kill policy when dealing with robbers, as has been reported in some sections of the media, law enforcement agents will ruthlessly crackdown on robbers.
Kazembe said he had directed the police to leave no stone unturned in their quest to flush out all armed robbers from society. He said:
Police are guided by the Police Act and the Constitution. As they execute their mandate they will do their utmost in accordance with the law to apprehend criminals.
They will apply appropriate force as and where necessary. People are urged to co-operate with the police when asked to do so.
Any form of illegal or unwarranted resistance will be met with an appropriate response. Police are there to maintain law and order.
His remarks came after the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) released a report showing that 876 robbery cases were recorded between January and May this year, an increase compared to the same period last year.
According to the police, at least six robberies are being committed in Zimbabwe daily, highlighting the threats that citizens face from brutal criminals and thugs.
Last month Bulawayo residents called on the ZRP to adopt a shoot-to-kill approach in dealing with the increase in armed robberies in the city.
Residents said they were living in fear of being attacked by armed robbers and police should not hesitate to use maximum force as the robbers also carry guns.
The calls followed the murder of a woman by robbers during a robbery at a liquor store in Ascot. She was shot twice in the head and died on the spot.