THE Central Firearms Registry (CFR) is currently reviewing firearm licensing for individuals and companies, to curb the proliferation of armed robberies.
This comes as a number of police officers, including senior officers working in provincial armouries and the CFR, have been arrested for faking firearm certificates and dealing in over 50 high-calibre firearms that have landed in the hands of criminals.
In a statement, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the review – which is being done in terms of the Firearms Act (Chapter 10:09) – has been necessitated by the abuse of firearms by certain individuals and groups across the country.
“Investigations are currently underway to verify allegations that some firearm owners are allowing their weapons to fall into the hands of criminals, with some using them to commit armed robbery and other cases.
“The law will certainly take its course on such firearm owners,” Assistant Commissioner Nyathi said.
“The Police implore business entities, mining, farming, conservancy operators, professional hunters, security companies and those with valid and verifiable reasons to approach the Firearms Controller for the necessary licencing procedures to be followed. This is subject to strict vetting protocols by the Police.”
He also urged members of the public to surrender firearms belonging to late individuals, to the police pending processing of required paperwork.
Assistant Commissioner Nyathi said their observations indicate that failure to secure firearms by the holders is one of the factors contributing to the influx of theft and robbery of firearms
Five police officers and civilians have been arrested for dealing in high-calibre guns, which they sold to criminals after manipulating records and the CFR.