Tuesday, 3 September 2019

DEMOS : COPS HUNT FOR 12 SUSPECTS

POLICE have released photographs of 12 suspected perpetrators of public violence who were captured on camera committing various crimes over the past four years during demonstrations.


 The pictures of the suspects were released through the police micro-blogging site Twitter@PoliceZimbabwe yesterday followed by a caption: “Police are appealing for information which may assist in the identification and location of wanted persons hereon attached. These individuals are wanted in connection with acts of public violence for the period 2016-19 where they were captured while committing various offences.”

The police said those with information that could result in the location of the suspects should contact them on 0242703631 and 0242748836. 

In a follow-up interview, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi told Chronicle that the suspects unleashed terror during supposedly peaceful demonstrations.

“We have observed a trend where some of the these suspects were in the habit of getting involved in protests or demonstrations with a view of looting, with a view of destroying property, with a view of even attacking innocent members of the public,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.

“We are seeking information which can assist the police to locate these suspects who we want to interview. So members of the public can give us information that is their exact identity, location, business or residential address so that the law can take its course. Some are in Harare and of course as we continue posting these photos you will also see that there are also people from Bulawayo and other towns.”

He said he could not confirm the number of wanted suspects. Asst Comm Nyathi said police will strive to fulfil their constitutional mandate without fear or favour regardless of the situation.

“The police have a constitutional mandate with respect to Section 219 of the Constitution to detect, investigate and prevent crime, to preserve lives and protect property, to maintain law and order and above all to ensure that the internal security of the country is secured. So the police will ensure that any public gathering is conducted in a peaceful environment which adheres to the full processes of the law.  If people want to hold public gatherings or protests they must recognise what the law says. Police fully recognise the people’s rights and people’s rights do not say they should engage in acts of violence, or they engage in acts of destruction and looting of property. Police will not stand by when the so called protestors indulge in illegal acts,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.

He dismissed claims that police have been using excessive force in dealing with protestors. “Police use minimum force which is appropriate or which is determined by the existing situation at that particular moment. If people disregard lawful orders by the police and some of the lawful orders have even been confirmed by the courts what do you expect the police to do if people are blocking traffic? People are looting what do you expect the police to do? People are drunk and shouting all sorts of obscenities, what do you expect the police to do?” he asked. Chronicle

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