‘Airports security equipment inadequate’

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BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
THE Airport Company of Zimbabwe (ACZ) says security equipment to curb mineral and financial leakages at the country’s airports is inadequate.

Speaking during a tour of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport yesterday by legislators from the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence and Home Affairs, Civil Aviation security officer Gilbert Chimoto said the facility was inadequately equipped to detect illicit mineral movements.

“Other security agencies also need technologies to detect these movements, but they do not have the latest technology to effectively detect mineral movement, ” Chimoto said.

“We also need a central command structure for all security agencies at the airport.  There is also insider threat as people now have the know-how to circumvent the system.”

Chimoto pleaded with the committee chaired by Levy Mayihlome to assist them to get funding to revamp and beef up security and curb mineral leakages at the country’s airports.

But Mayihlome said: “They have all it takes to detect and to prevent smuggling, save for the specialised equipment. Maybe the specialised training that they mentioned in the presentations is necessary.

“Otherwise what they have is comparable to what we have seen in other countries where they have walk through search equipment at various stages. There is room for improvement, especially to deal with internal threats and human elements.”

In 2021, Zimbabwe Miners Federation president Henrietta Rushwaya was arrested at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport after she was found carrying 6,9kg of gold.

The matter is still pending at the courts.

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