Police to revise border operation

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Assistant-Commissioner-Paul-Nyathi

By REX MPHISA
ZIMBABWE’s Joint Operations Command (JOC) is reviewing its operation code-named “No To Cross-border Crime” amid mixed feelings from stakeholders.

The operation was launched on January 5, 2021 to fight cross-border crime, including smuggling, human trafficking, and other illegal activities on the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Two Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) helicopters were dispatched for aerial support at the onset and government also hired several all-terrain vehicles.

All deployed officers were from outside Beitbridge, with local officials seen as compromised.

“We are redefining the operation and it will have deployment only from Matabeleland South (province). We are not calling it off, but it will not have officers from other provinces,” national police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said yesterday.

Although reported as a “huge success”’ some Beitbridge residents have misgivings and believe crime in the district increased during the
operation.

“Some stakeholders felt the operation was becoming too expensive yet bringing little revenue. That is basically why helicopters were withdrawn,” a source close to the operation said.

Several army officers who committed various offences during the operation are in detention barracks.

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