The smuggling of goods and services at the porous Forbes Border Post remains rampant as security personnel have no capacity to effectively patrol and manage 60 illegal crossing points along the border post.

This came out when the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services met members of the Manicaland Provincial Joint Operations Committee and the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Cde Mandi Chimene in Mutare on a fact-finding mission to assess service delivery of the Zimbabwe Republic Police.

Chairperson of the portfolio committee, Cde Ronald Muderedzwa said legislators want to have a better appreciation of the police operations in the province.

Briefing the parliamentarians, the ZRP Officer Commanding Manicaland, Senior Assistant Commissioner Isaac Mushoriwa Tayengwa bemoaned rampant smuggling of goods and service along the porous Forbes Border Post.

He said security personnel have so far established 60 illegal crossing points, but revealed that vehicle challenges in the province have been a major setback as only 12 out of 30 police operational stations have vehicles.

Senior Assistant Commissioner Tayengwa said the general crime rate is fluctuating, with murder cases and rape of juveniles on the increase, while adult rape cases are going down.

Responding to corruption allegations levelled against the police, he said the strength of the police in the province is decreasing as a number of officers are being fired for allegedly involved in corrupt activities.

Senior Assistant Commissioner Tayengwa also told the parliamentarians that the number of police road blocks in the central business district is meant to bring order and curb lawlessness by commuter omnibus drivers.

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services is on a nationwide tour to assess police operations.