Arts & CultureCrime and Courts

Protection of heritage sites top priority-Police

Roseline Mutare

Police have said cultural heritage crimes cause significant threat to the historic environments and to the security of cultural property in museums and gallery as such protection of such sites is a top priority.

In an interview on Classic 263 FM (by head of station, Terrence The Hot stepper Mapurisana) with Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Minerals, Flora and Fauna Unit, Chief Inspector Portia  Chinhu highlighted that the disturbance of these cultural heritage properties translate to economic loss to the country as it has a negative impact to the tourism sector.

Old Bulawayo Museum, KoBulawayo, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

“Zimbabwe has not been spared as a target to cultural heritage crimes by criminals. We have a lot of illicit trafficking, criminals target our Art Gallery and museums. We have also been experiencing some disturbing scenarios where some unruly elements have been invading some gazetted cultural heritage sites for the purpose of mining and hunting,” said Chinhu.

She reiterated that works of art and heritage section is committed to promotion and preservation of our cultural heritage.

Detective Chief Insp Chinhu also added that the formation of the Minerals, Flora and Fauna Unit was necessary as it was mainly meant to prohibit illicit import and export or transfer of heritage properties.

“The inception of this unit was born in compliance to Article 72 of the UNESCO convention on the need to prohibit the illicit import and export of cultural heritage from country of origin which constitute one of the most serious offences.

 “The formation of the unit therefore was necessary as there was need to conform to international protocols and best practice,” added Chinhu.

The police are carrying awareness programs in order to preserve the cultural heritage for the upcoming generation by making sure the national monuments and heritage sites are treasured.

It is against this background that ZBC’s Classic 263 invites the police to share such information on its weekly educative Sunday program, Police Check, where they share crime related issues with the public.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button