The Zimbabwe Republic Police through its Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in areas of software enhancement and staff development between the two institutions.

The partnership is expected to break new ground as the university will assist ZRP to develop and deploy robust software systems in areas such as scenes of crime, Central Criminal Bureau, Forensic Science Laboratory, Cyber Laboratory Criminal Intelligence Unit, just to mention, but a few. This will increase efficiency and minimise time taken in carrying out some tasks such as investigation of cyber crimes by the law enforcement agency.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Deputy Commissioner General (Crime), Stephen Mutamba, who was the guest of honour implored police officers to embrace the partnership as it will go a long way in ensuring that police are not only relevant, but a step ahead in the digital society.

“It is prudent for me to highlight that we are policing a 21st century society where rapid technological advancements have become the order of the day. I therefore urge all police officers to fully embrace this milestone partnership as it will go a long way in ensuring that we remain not only relevant but also a step ahead in this digital society,” said DCG Mutamba.        

He added, “As a law enforcement agency, we also envisage a scenario whereby we are able to fully utilise modern ICTs and artificial intelligence in all facets of crime management…….This MoU commits us to work together more closely towards our common goal of making the ZRP technology compliant and indeed, our country, Zimbabwe, crime free.”

The signing of the MoU is timely as it comes at a time when the government is working on cyber bill to curb computer related crimes that are increasingly becoming a threat to the security and moral values of the nation.

Currently, the Zimbabwe Republic Police is grappling with technical challenges in gathering evidence on cyber crime and other sophisticated cases as criminals are manipulating advances in technology to broaden and perpetuate delinquencies in a complex manner.

Harare Institute of Technology Pro-Vice chancellor, Dr Maxwell Chanakira said keeping abreast of rapid developments in digital and cyber space is indispensable and commended ZRP for taking step in the right direction.

“I believe for us to keep abreast of rapidly changing world, we need to remain cognisant of such developments in the digital and cyber space, and craft new strategies to embrace such technologies. We need to understand their nature, existence and transformation; as well as circumvent any threat at both institutional and national level.

“We are pleased that the Zimbabwe Republic Police recognises new developments in the area of digital and cyber security. Your joining us in these collaborative endeavours attests to the significant role and premise that you place on these matters,” he said.

Harare Institute of Technology was established in 1988 and has over time evolved into a technical college. It started offering degree courses in 2005 and today it boasts of being the only university with a department of information and security assurance, offering programmes in the topical and important areas of cyber security, digital forensic among others.

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