Zimbabwe plans to deploy unmanned aircraft (drones) to patrol the country’s borders in a bid to combat cross-border crime, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe said on Wednesday.
Kazembe revealed this after meeting visiting Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO) chairman, General Kehla Sitole, who is also South Africa’s Commissioner of the police. Said Kazembe:
The technology that we are deploying will assist in curbing cross border crimes.
This includes drones to monitor the borders; it also includes increasing resources for the police. We believe that we are on the right track.
We are deploying technology to deal with illegal border crossing.
Zimbabwe on Tuesday announced the re-opening of its borders, which had been closed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga said the police will intensify patrols along all the country’s borders. Said Matanga:
Since the borders are now open, the police will maintain a presence along the borders throughout the country.
On his part, General Sitole said SARPCCO was also moving to use drones as part of wider measures to eradicate cross-border crimes. He said:
I am impressed that one of the strategies that Zimbabwe has already ventured into, at the border management level is the introduction of drone policing.
Drone policing is one of the SARPCO strategies. But it is not going to end up at drone policing.
What we are working on is to have a safer city command centre that is going to link the drones that are patrolling the border.
There are hard crimes that are happening at the border, where there is a new modus operandi, serious and violent.