Business fights crime

Miriam Dube


GUTU – THE Business community in Gutu has joined hands with the police to
combat soaring crime cases at growth points in the district, which have become a
cause for concern.
The Business Against Crime Forum of Zimbabwe (BACFOZ) is partnering with the
Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to fight crime in their relevant areas. The
partnership was officially launched at a colourful ceremony held at Mupandawana
Central Business District.
The launch drew scores of formal and informal members of the local business
community, Government and partner department heads and members of the public.
Addressing the gathering, the guest of honour at the launch, District Development
Co-ordinator (DDC) Chiedza Tafirei, said BACFOZ which comes in the footsteps of
another initiative by the uniformed Police partnering communities in fighting crime,
Community Crime Liaison Forum (CLF), are efforts to curb the growing menace of
crime in all parts of the country.
Although certain crimes used to be concentrated in towns and cities, they have since
found their way into outlying rural areas, where communities have to start being
vigilant, she said.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), which has been facing policing challenges,
has over the years being urging its departments to establish rapport, engagement
and support with communities they work in order to combat crime effectively.
She said that the ZRP and communities have devised policing strategies that
demystify, bring trust and garner support for the police in the interests of curbing the
growing crime cases in the country.
The formation of Neighbourhood Watch Committees – the Special Constabulary
Forces – picked from members of the communities, Community Crime Liaison
Committee and now BACFOZ are some of the strides made towards maintaining a
crime-free country that position the nation positively in the economic and tourism
drive as Zimbabwe gears up for Vision 2030.
"We cannot underscore the point that effective policing must derive from and flourish
on the goodwill and co-operation of the whole community from whom any police
service earns its legitimacy," said Tafirei.
With criminal activities getting advanced with the advent of new Information and
Communication Technology and increased educational /levels in the country and
businesses being the major target, BACFOZ will serve to share criminal

intelligence and sharpen strategies by police and the business community against
The partnership between police and communities also creates united support and
trust in reducing crime, reinforcement of and better direction of resources towards
crime prevention, creation of neighbourhood rapport and trust in the fight.
These are yielding positive results, where already initiated and the concepts are
soon to be decentralised to all parts of the district, she said.
Speaking at the same event, Officer-in-Charge CID Gutu, Detective Inspector,
Wilbert Hondo, said the Business Against Crime concept is a corporate world
initiative where they mobilise resources that are channelled towards fighting crime.
"Since the Zimbabwe Republic Police does not operate in a vacuum, such schemes
go a long way in complementing efforts to rid society of crime. The business
community is conscious that a crime-free society is ideal for their prosperity," Hondo
There has been a notable reduction in cases of stores being broken into, robbery,
theft and fraud among others that used to be a headache to businesses in the
The banking sector in the area would installing electronic communication linked to
the police establishments in efforts to speed up reaction times, when the institutions
fall prey to armed criminals.
Armed and plain robberies have been on the increase in the district, with house
breaking and theft also causes for concern.
Between January and the end of June this year, CID Gutu recorded seven armed
robbery cases. One was detected. They also recorded 18 cases of unlawful entry
and theft into business and residential premises. Two were detected.
Two cases of murder were recorded and one was detected with one attempted
murder not yet resolved. The department received 96 cases during this period with
34 of them detected and contributed 38 convicted cases.
Cases recorded in the district during the period under review are higher combined
with those separately recorded under the ZRP uniformed section.
BACFOZ Gutu Chairman Simbarashe Tarugarira, who pledged decentralisation of
the committee to ward level in the district, said since formation last month, they had
lined up projects which need immediate attention.
These include acquiring a vehicle and fuel, provision of stationery, setting up of
hotlines at CID Gutu. On the business side, members are being trained on business
security tips, vetting and employment of skilled staff and guards. They are also
getting crime alerts and tips through online groups for swift response from the police.

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