Cops threaten vendors

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Police have threatened to come down hard on youths and vendors, accusing them of perpetrating violence and attacking their colleagues on duty.

This was said by Officer Commanding Police Harare Province Senior Assistant Commissioner Clement Munoriarwa at the Cop of the Year award ceremony held in Harare yesterday.

Munoriarwa said they would not allow a scenario where certain streets were no-go areas for the police. “Let me take this opportunity to warn those who are fond of violence that if you think of taking the police head-on as has been the case, you have yourselves to blame when the full wrath descends on you,” he said.

“Recently we witnessed clashes between the police and social malcontents and politically misguided elements masquerading as vendors. Such clashes are totally unacceptable and should have been avoided.

We will not tolerate a situation where some streets are declared vendors’ streets and no-go areas for the police.” He said political parties should urge their members to desist from engaging in violence.

“Political parties should educate their members and supporters to desist from engaging in violence. Violence does not pay, it only leaves permanent ugly and negative memories,” he said.

Without giving figures, Munoriarwa said last year they managed to reduce crime compared to 2010. “As a result of the efforts of these award-winning officers, together with their colleagues back at stations, Harare Province managed to reduce crime, comparing January to December 2010 and the same period in 2011.

It is also important to highlight that during this particular period, several wanted criminals who had been terrorising peace-loving citizens were brought to book,” he said. Nine police officers were awarded for their efforts in 2011.