POLICE in Mutare have arrested a suspected member of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) after he was found in possession of over 330 pieces of diamonds, NewsDay has learnt.
National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba yesterday confirmed the suspect’s arrest, but could not confirm or deny that he was a soldier.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police would like to confirm the arrest of a 36-year-old man in Mutare on March 28, 2016 for possession of 333 pieces of diamonds,” Charamba said.
She said the man was arrested after apparently flagging down a vehicle carrying detectives.
“The man was picked by police detectives after he waved down their vehicle for a lift. Once inside, police detectives realised that he was holding a plastic sachet. They became suspicious and stopped their vehicle to conduct a search on him, resulting in the recovery of the diamonds,” she said. Charamba warned members of the public against “dealing in diamonds without a permit”.
Impeccable sources told NewsDay that the man was indeed a soldier.
“He is a serving military serviceman. The issue of members of the military engaging in criminal activities, including smuggling and poaching, is a problem that police are struggling with,” the source said on condition of anonymity.
ZNA spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Alphios Makotore could not be reached for comment yesterday, but is on record saying the army had adopted zero tolerance to corruption.