The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP)and Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in software enhancement and staff development aimed at improving the force’s capacity to fight crime.
The MoU was signed at the CID Headquarters last week by Police Deputy Commissioner-General (Crime) Stephen Mutamba and HIT Po-Vice Chancellor Dr Maxwell Chanakira.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, Deputy Comm-Gen Mutamba said ZRP was policing a 21st century society where rapid technological advancements had become the order of the day.
“Quite worrisome, though, is the fact that criminals are also taking the opportunity to manipulate advances in technology to broaden and perpetuate their criminal enterprise and sophistry,” he said.
“In this regard, I would like to express my profound gratitude to HIT for partnering the ZRP in the research and development of technologies that are aimed at enhancing ZRP’s capacity to fight crime.”
Deputy Comm-Gen Mutamba said this was going to improve their communication and information sharing capacity with other key stakeholders in the fight against crime.
“Although innovation and technology in the fight against crime have remained our top agenda, as a police organisation, we have, however, not been able to build the desired capacity,” he said.
“The coming on board of Harare Institute of Technology, through this MoU, will certainly break new ground as the academic and technology giant will assist the ZRP to develop and deploy robust software systems in the following areas (among others): scenes of crime, Central Criminal Bureau, National Fingerprints Bureau, Central Firearms Registry, Forensic Science Laboratory, Forensic Ballistics, Cyber Laboratory, Criminal Intelligence Unit, Criminal Records Office and Foreigners Identification Bureau.”
Deputy Comm-Gen Mutamba said such a stride would minimise the time it takes to carry out most of their policing duties manually and would also increase efficiency in their policing systems.
He urged officers to fully embrace the partnership which would go a long way in ensuring that they remained a step ahead in the digital society.
Speaking at the same event, Dr Chanakira said cyber security had emerged as an area of strategic national importance and the drafting of the Cyber Crime and Cyber Security Bill (2017), which is now at the ascension stage, attests to the significant progress made in recognising and promoting cyber security in the country.
“As a university, we are obliged to be responsive to national policy imperatives, and to transform communities through discharging our knowledge and expertise,” he said.