POLICE are ready and will in future not hesitate to react ruthlessly if attacked by rioters a senior police officer here has warned.
Officer Commanding Marondera district, Superintendent Didymus Sakarombe said the police would not stand-by and watch while they are attacked and police property looted or destroyed during public demonstrations.
Sakarombe’s remarks follow the stoning of Dombotombo police station and the assault of cops in the town during the January demonstrations. The nation-wide demonstrations were a reaction to fuel price increases announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa then.
Five Marondera residents, have since appeared in court and were convicted and sentenced to a combined 30 years in prison on charges of stoning the police station. Over 1 000 people including juveniles were arrested while over a dozen were killed after the army opened fire on protestors and in the clampdown that followed the riots.
“To those who think they have a propensity to attack a police station again, please be warned as we will not just stand akimbo whilst you do as you please,” Sakarombe said at the launch of the Zimbabwe Republic Police client service charter in the Mashonaland East provincial capital.
“You cannot attack a police station today yet tomorrow, you will want to report your case at the same,” said Sakarombe.
During the attack on the police station, property worth RTGS$30 000 including anti-riot shields and suits, base radio station, records and tear smoke canisters was looted.
A police officer was also stoned to death during the skirmishes.