Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
POLICE in Bulawayo have increased deployment of officers in the city and assured exhibitors and visitors to the 60th edition of Zimbabwe International Trade Fair of tight security.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police said for every 10 people in the Central Business District this week, two of them will be police officers in plain clothes.
The ZITF roars into life today and ends on Saturday with this year’s exhibition said to be the biggest since the inception of one of Africa’s biggest trade showcases.
Several international exhibitors including the United States of America are participating at this year’s trade show case.
Bulawayo acting police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube yesterday said they had stepped up security due to the large number of people expected for the ZITF.
“In anticipation of increased human and vehicular traffic during the ZITF period, police have increased law enforcement deployment in the city.
“We have heightened security in the Bulawayo Central Business District in anticipation of an increased flow of visitors some of whom will be exhibiting at the ZITF. Security has been tripled in the city. We have increased police visibility. There will be foot patrols, cycle patrols, car patrols, mounted units and officers in plain clothes. For every 10 people that individuals can come across in the CBD, two of them could be police officers in plain clothes. That’s how seriously we consider the security of our visitors during this trade fair period,” said Insp Ncube.
The ZITF period is one of Bulawayo’s important annual events which attracts people from all walks of life and business from around the world.
Insp Ncube said visitors should feel secure in the city as cops will be readily available to provide policing.
He said police have deployed 30 spot interaction centres in the CBD where cops will listen and interact with members of the public on issues that could be of concern to them.
“We urge our visitors to avoid leaving their vehicles unlocked as this increases the risk of losing valuables to thieves. Items such as laptops, cellphones and handbags should not be left visible in cars as this attracts criminals,” said Insp Ncube.
“Furthermore, at the previous ZITF editions we have attended to incidents where exhibitors lose property in their stands after leaving them unattended. So we appeal to members of the public to avoid leaving their possessions unattended even in places they think are safe.”
He said members of the public should also be on the lookout for fraudsters who pretend to be offering employment at the ZITF exhibition centre.
Insp Ncube urged those who might need police services to approach uniformed cops and visit police stations where necessary.