Govt splashes $4.5 million on anti-riot police equipment

The recent violent protests that rocked the country has prompted government to pump out a whopping $4.5 million United States Dollars towards the purchase of emergency warning equipment for the Zimbabwe Republic Police anti-riot squad, the Zim Morning Post can exclusively reveal.

The emergency warning equipment was purchased from a South African company called Instrumentation for Traffic Law Enforcement and the ‘buy’ includes teargas, helmets and batons.

Impeccable sources told this publication that the payment was made  a fortnight ago through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

“The ministry of Home Affairs requested for a boost in equipment because they had become incapacitated and remember they had to seek reinforcement from the army in August after the elections last year.

“This new equipment is to quell any form of violence without causing any deaths or maximum damage or injury. RBZ effected payment two weeks ago and the merchandise is expected in the country soon,” revealed our source.

This development comes in the wake of declarations by opposition leader Nelson Chamisa’s threats that his party will unleash more demonstrations to force President Emmerson Mnangagwa into dialogue.

The development is also part of the recommendations by the Mohlanthe  Commission Inquiry into the post – election violence that rocked the country and left a dozen people dead.

The recommendation also include the re-training of police officers in crowd control tactics without using excessive force.

Interestingly, the purchase of the equipment seems timeous since South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa has pledged R55 million towards the training of the local police officers aimed at boosting preparedness in case of violence.

Ramaphosa extended the gesture during the bi-national commission on Tuesday. The commission seeks to strengthen cooperation between Pretoria and Harare.

Meanwhile, the Zim Morning Post learnt that Zimbabwe has always been a loyal client to Instrumentation for Traffic Law Enforcement as evidenced by the citation on their official website.

The company states that it is ‘ Africa’s leading supplier of effective, reliable and quality emergency warning equipment and traffic management systems to traffic law enforcers, police and military’ and one of its clients is Zimbabwe.

The Reserve bank governor John Mangudya and ZRP acting national spokesperson Paul Nyathi could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.