Zimbabwe is on high terror attack alert following a spate of terrorist attacks in Mali and France in the past few weeks, the Minister of State Security, Kembo Mohadi, said yesterday. In an exclusive interview with our Bulawayo Bureau, Minister Mohadi said Government had drawn lessons from the world’s growing vulnerability to terror. “As Government we are seized with the matter (terror attacks). We are not sitting on our laurels because what recently happened in France and lately in Mali is an issue of global concern. It can also happen to us. We have drawn lessons from that and we are alert,” he said.
Minister Mohadi said security officials from Zimbabwe and Zambia met last week in Lusaka to discuss ways of fighting the trend under the auspices of the two countries’ joint permanent commission on defence and security. He said top of the agenda were the issues of global terrorism and money laundering.
“Zimbabwe is a signatory to anti-terrorism protocols through Interpol and other international bodies. We also have something to do with transnational crime which we undertake both regionally and internationally,” he said. “Last week we met our Zambian counterparts in Lusaka under a joint permanent commission on defence and security and among the major issues discussed was global terrorism and money laundering.”
Minister Mohadi said laundered money is used to fund terror attacks. He said Zimbabwe had an obligation to fight terrorism together with other countries since terrorism knows no boundaries. Minister Mohadi said Zimbabwe was working with all the 14 countries in the Sadc region in terms of intelligence.
“In the Sadc, we have structures that deal with anti-terrorism issues and as a country we do contribute in terms of intelligence. In fact, it is every country’s responsibility to fight terrorism and we are always liaising with other countries regionally and internationally in terms of exchange of security,” said the Minister.
Zimbabwe is part of the joint permanent commissions on defence and security with all Sadc countries. Minister Mohadi said the November terror attacks on Mali and France highlighted a rising global susceptibility to terrorism which called for concerted efforts in the fight against acts of terror violence.
The Mali terror attack at a luxury hotel in the capital, Bamako, left at least 21 people dead, including two militants. It came less than a week after the Paris gun and suicide bomb attacks in which 130 people were killed and several others injured. In April Al-Shabab militants stormed dormitories at Garissa University College in eastern Kenya and killed 147 people.
More than 500 students were rescued after the Islamist militants attacked the campus and took others hostage.