SECURITY forces have reported incidents of looting and illegal occupation of farms and houses in Zimbabwe following the resignation of Robert Mugabe and the inauguration of his successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

However, the military and police said in a joint statement that the “situation in our country has returned to normalcy” after a crisis during which the military staged a takeover and crowds demonstrated against Mugabe.

The police force, largely absent from the streets of Harare during the tumultuous leadership transition, will assume its role “as stipulated in the constitution” and conduct joint patrols with the military, including in the capital’s central business district.

Many Zimbabweans applauded the military for its role in Mugabe’s resignation last week, but resent the police for alleged corruption.

A statement from security forces said: “Law enforcement agents are already receiving reports of looting and illegal occupation of other people’s properties, particularly farms and houses.”

It described such actions as criminal and against the spirit of reconciliation that the new government seeks to build, saying they “will be met by the full wrath of the law”.