President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared a near two-month long amnesty on all illegal firearm holders to voluntarily surrender the lethal weapons to their nearest police stations with no questions asked.

This follows a spike in armed robberies and other offences involving the illegal use of the weapons throughout the country.

In a statement, police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the window for the surrender of the dangerous weapons runs from August 8 to September 30.

"In this regard, the Zimbabwe Republic Police advises the public that in line with Article 12 of SADC Protocol on the control of firearms, ammunition and related materials, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency Dr Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has granted an amnesty to all members of the public who are in possession of firearms and ammunition falling under the categories listed above to voluntarily surrender them to the Zimbabwe Republic Police from 8th August to 30th September 2022.

"The firearms should be surrendered to any nearest Police station with the volunteer being given an official safe custody receipt to confirm that the weapon has indeed been taken over by the Police officer at the local Police station," he said.

No criminal charges will be preferred on those volunteering the weapons during the stipulated period as long as one complies with the provisions of the Presidential Amnesty.

Nyathi said the amnesty also covered those in possession of weapons which were smuggled or illegally brought into the country.

He added, "The Zimbabwe Republic Police takes this opportunity to inform the public that physical checks and verifications will be conducted on all residential and business premises where illegal firearms are suspected to be.

"In the same vein, all licensed firearm owners are implored to visit local Police stations and update their records in compliance with the Firearms Act Chapter 10:09."

Police also noted the illegal possession of arms by former employees and kins of deceased licensed gun holders.

"Checks and records have revealed that some companies have closed yet their representatives are still holding onto firearms.

"Some members of licensed gun clubs are no longer active while some farmers, hunters and individuals are no longer in the same position that they were when they applied for firearm licences.

"On the other hand, relatives of late firearm licence holders are still holding to firearms with some of them being used to commit various crimes which include armed robbery," he said.

Nyathi said police also observed that some licensed firearm holders were no longer renewing their firearm certificates or even notifying the authorities about the change in residential or business addresses to enable constant checks to be made by the Police on the status of the firearms.

"Individuals and institutions are improperly securing firearms resulting in some falling into wrong hands and being used to commit robbery and murder cases. There are some licensed gun dealers and clubs who are holding on to unclaimed firearms which were surrendered to them for safe keeping. These have not been taken by owners for a number of years," he said.

Source -Byo24News