Ferret Force is officially combined teams of Central Intelligence Organisation, Army, Military Intelligence, ZRP and Police Internal Investigations agents.
Ferrets are covert special operations operatives under the authority of the State Security. Organized into small teams, Ferrets are tasked with investigating situations or criminal activities that prove threatening to the Government and Command, as well as resolving those situations by eliminating—or rescuing—certain individuals.
The Police Border Control Unit intercepted a contraband of export quality cigarettes worth $760 000 in a South Africa-bound goods train in Beitbridge in September 2014. The train was on its way from Bulawayo. Police intercepted the train at the main railway station in Beitbridge at around 8am following a tip- off. Train drivers allegedly lied to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) that all the wagons were empty.
On 13 June 2018, the Ferret team arrested two Zimbabwe Revenue Authority officials at Beitbridge Border Post after they facilitated the smuggling of building material worth $20 200 that was destined for Bulawayo.
Members appearing in court for robbery
A 10-man joint team made up of spies, soldiers and police officers which was deployed in Harare suburbs during January 2019's fuel protests was arrested and charged with armed robbery. The first of the 10, Sergeant Wellington Mushosho of the Police’s Internal Security Intelligence (PISI), appeared in a Harare court and was remanded in custody to 25 February 2019. Nine others – made up of Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) spies, police officers and Military Intelligence (MI) agents – were arrested on Monday 11 February 2019 and were due in court on Tuesday 12 February 2019.
The case against the 10 men, investigated under crime reference number CR34/02/19, stemmed from an 8 February 2019 raid on a shebeen on Mangende Street in Mbare, by six armed men wearing masks and all armed with AK47 rifles. Prosecutors say patrons in the shebeen were ordered to lie on the ground and many were kicked and whipped with sjamboks, during which a shot was fired in the ground.
The intruders, whom prosecutors say were members of a security forces Ferret Team, robbed the shebeen’s owner, 42-year-old Norah Kandawasvika, of $2,800 bond notes and US$100. The men jumped into their vehicles, a white Nissan MP300 with registration number AEA 4471, a white Nissan MP300 without registration plates and a Datsun Go without registration plates.
Allegations of abducting citizens
Professor Jonathan Moyo said a group called Ferret was involved in the abduction of citizens and some operations done by the security forces in Zimbabwe. Moyo's statement came at a time when a Dr Peter Magombeyi was abducted on 14 September 2019 at his home by unknown assailants. Said Moyo, "The Third Force in Rhodesia, Zimbabwe since the extended Rhodesian State of Emergency during gukurahundi and in apartheid South Africa has always been a rogue unit of state security agents doing pseudo operations, such as abductions. In South Africa it was DCC, in Zim it's FERRET!"
"They have become a law unto themselves. They are a combined JOC team!"Moyo added. "It's rogue by design, to deal with enemies of the State, the Party and the President!"
- Thupeyo Muleya, , The Herald, Published: 13 September, 2014, Accessed: 31 August, 2020
- Thupeyo Muleya, , Nehanda Radio, Published: 13 June, 2018, Accessed: 31 August, 2020
- Tony Karombo, , ZimLive, Published: 11 February, 2019, Accessed: 31 August, 2020
- Mandla Ndlovu, , Bulawayo 24 News, Published: 17 September, 2019, Accessed: 31 August, 2020