Lawson Mabhena in DUBAI
President Mnangagwa, who is here for the World Governments Summit, was yesterday charmed by artificial intelligence systems that assign police patrols across Dubai without human intervention, and vowed to get his ministers working on cooperation and training opportunities.
The President said this after touring the Dubai Police General Headquarters where he also got to experience the deployment and operations of a police drone.
The UAE’s use of cutting edge technology in fighting crime reached dizzy heights in 2021 when Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister, launched Drone Box.
The programme dispatches drones across Dubai and has reduced police response time to criminal and traffic reports from 4,4 minutes to just over a minute.
President Mnangagwa was accompanied by Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe and ICTs Minister Tatenda Mavetera during the tour.
After being impressed by the technology, the President said he would assign Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe and Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira, to ensure Zimbabwe benefits from the UAE’s willingness to share knowledge.
“Absolutely everything that I saw we don’t have; we are years behind. For instance, they can look at an entire city from one room, monitor and reach any place in minutes,” said President Mnangagwa.
“I did not know that such technology existed. Now we need serious cooperation between Zimbabwe and Dubai because this is the way to go; it’s technology in action.
“We say science and technology is the way to go for our education, but I think the people of the UAE are far ahead hence the need to have cooperation. Fortunately, I have my Minister of (Information Communication) Technology who is here.
“I am going to talk to her so that there is collaboration and our science students can come here and learn a lot.”
President Mnangagwa had a hectic schedule in Dubai and got down to serious business soon after landing at the Al Maktoum International Airport at 6am, where he had a briefing with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Frederick Shava and Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to the UAE Lovemore Mazemo.
Immediately after arriving at his hotel, the President was locked in another briefing with accompanying Cabinet ministers and senior Government officials.
After the meeting, the President went to the venue of the summit where he met Sheikh Shakhboot Nahyan Al Nahyan, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
President Mnangagwa and Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe tour the General Headquarters, Criminal Investigations and Forensic Science of the Dubai police yesterday. He was shown the concept of Smart Police Station (SPS) and the actual station.
Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba said major areas of interest during the discussions include agriculture and mining.
“His Excellency discussed various options: either they come and farm directly in Zimbabwe or they get Zimbabwean farmers to produce for them for export or thirdly, partnership.
“They also expressed interest in gold mining and again the President indicated to them that Zimbabwe is a gold country and they can send a delegation to see unexploited mines.
“So they have agreed to send an agriculture team and a mining team to cement their interest,” said Mr Charamba.
President Mnangagwa then toured the Dubai Police General Headquarters and a smart police station. He later had an engagement with an investor in the property development sector.