Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

ED grants amnesty for unlicensed gun holders amid crime surge

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has granted an amnesty to unlicensed firearms holders in an apparent quest to curb gun related crimes including robberies.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) national spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi in a statement on Tuesday said the amnesty was in line with Article 12 of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Protocol on the control of firearms, ammunition and related materials.

The amnesty runs up to September 30. It also caters for those with smuggled firearms.

“No criminal charges will be preferred to members of the public during this period as long as one complies with the provisions of the Presidential amnesty. The amnesty also covers anyone who is in possession of any weapon which was smuggled or illegally brought into the country,” Nyathi said.

“Police have also observed that some licensed firearm holders are no longer renewing their firearm certificates or even notifying the authorities about the change in residential or business addresses to enable constant checks to be made by the police on the status of the firearms.”

This comes amid increases in gun- related crimes including robberies and crimes of passion.

Two weeks ago, a Harare dealer known as Boss Pangolin shot dead his lover before committing suicide.

Last week, armed robbers raided a cash in transit vehicle at Mukuru Money Transfer Agency in Bulawayo before stealing US$100 000 and over R500 000.

It is suspected that most of these firearms are being smuggled from neighbouring South Africa where there seems to be a lax gun control policy and the smugglers take advantage of the porous borders.

Rogue trained members of the security forces with experience of handling firearms have also been implicated in several robbery cases.