Police have busted a syndicate of suspects that have illegally traded in over 50 guns, including two officers stationed at the Zimbabwe Republic Police armouries in Harare and Chinhoyi.
Some of the weapons have been used to commit violent crimes such as armed robberies, which are on the increase countrywide.
The two officers at the centre of the scandal, William Nhata (35) who worked at the ZRP police national arms’ depot in Harare and Constable Crive Kadambure (42) who was stationed at the Mashonaland West Provincial Armoury in Chinhoyi.
Kadambure was recently arrested with his alleged accomplices Wonder Tawanda Kwaramba (36), who is an ex-police officer and a civilian Edmore Manuwere (28) for dealing in more than 40 high-calibre weapons.
Police documents in possession of The Sunday Mail suggest that police were tipped off about the syndicate that has since January 2019 to date been dealing in firearms.
The syndicate approached registered firearms dealers across the country where they purchased forty-four high calibre rifles.
They went on to obtain fake firearm certificates with fake serial numbers and references enabling them to purchase firearms from the registered dealers. Read the police documents:
Thereafter the accused sold to or traded the firearms with poachers and armed robbers both inside and outside the country. Acting on the information, the detectives managed to arrest the three accused persons in Harare, Bulawayo and Chinhoyi. The team managed to obtain firearms registers from registered dealers and established the accused person had made several purchases.
Kwaramba is also involved in another case, in which he is accused of dealing in firearms with Taona Javangwe (43) of Nkulumane suburb in Bulawayo.
Upon his arrest early this month, Javangwe, who is charged with being in possession of two firearms illegally, implicated Kwaramba.
Nhata was arrested last week and appeared in court on Wednesday, charged with fraud and contravention of the firearms act by illegally trading in firearms since October 2019.
Another suspect, Patrick Chirara from Karoi, is facing eight counts of illegally dealing in firearms, which had fake certificates.
Police records say Chirara sold the guns to armed robbers.
More: The Sunday Mail