POLICE will shoot to kill when dealing with armed robbers, Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga said yesterday after a top cop was killed last week amid rising similar cases.
He was speaking at the funeral service of Maxwell Hove, the Officer-in-Charge of Hwedza who was gunned down last Friday in Hwedza together with two other victims, Crispen Mubvana Kanerusine (62) of Zinzombe village, and Munashe Mujanhi (20) of Mujanhi village in the district.
The trio were shot in cold blood by former Criminal Investigations Department officer Jaison Muvevi, who was eventually arrested on Monday morning after fleeing into Mozambique.
Another policeman, Detective Constable Tendai Mugova was injured in the shooting.
Muvevi allegedly also attempted to kill one Raphael Nyahwema at Mutare Boys High School on the same day after firing three shots at him.
“For the avoidance of doubt, as the Zimbabwe Republic Police, we will not stand akimbo while innocent citizens, let alone police officers, are being decimated by unruly malcontents. Once again, I wish to categorically state that those unregistered firearms shall be deemed to have a criminal intent. Furthermore, as police officers, we will not hesitate to shoot to kill all perpetrators of heinous crimes such as armed robbery, which are making society apprehensive,” Matanga said at the funeral service for Hove, which was held at Morris Depot in the capital. He was 43.
“It is also, indeed, disheartening to note that as a nation, we continue to lose police officers through grisly murders perpetrated by fellow citizens. Without doubt, it can never be right for any individual not to respect the sanctity of human life. Equally worrisome is the fact that firearms continue to be used in the commission of a plethora of heinous crimes in the country. We have also gathered with concern that despite the government’s amnesty on holders of unregistered firearms to surrender them, many such weapons are being recovered at crime scenes.
“Similarly, as a nation, we are fully aware that the election season is upon us, hence the Zimbabwe Republic Police shall ensure zero tolerance to politically-motivated violence.”
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Muvevi yesterday appeared before Harare magistrate Dennis Mangosi, where he claimed the police were forcing him to confess to the triple murders.
He was represented by Samson Dzingira.
He demanded to be placed under the custody of the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services rather than the police.
“Your worship, the police had my client since 1355 hours on Tuesday and they should have finished recording the statements. It seems they want further detention to force, or have him voluntarily confess to the allegations,” Dzingira said.
Appearing for the State, Pardon Dziva asked the court to detain Muvevi until January 21 to facilitate further investigations.
Mangosi ruled in favour of the State, but he asked the police to return Muvevi to court on Friday.
Muvevi, who was in handcuffs and leg irons, told the court before his lawyer arrived that he was cuffed to a steel pole with his legs hanging and could not sleep.