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Harare – Zimbabwean scientists yesterday unveiled an ambitious new crime fighting initiative in the form of a high-tech bionic agent who will assist police with investigations as well as tackle individual cases. Dubbed “The Six Million Zim Dollar Man”, the cybernetically enhanced operative was designed and constructed at a cost of nearly $US 11,000 after treasury officials approved the project early last year. Sources say work on the top secret programme started in earnest after scientists identified a suitable candidate within police ranks and then severely maimed the man in a controlled accidental explosion. “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him, we have the technology,” project leader Dr Hamilton Zembe then announced at a media briefing as doctors raced to save the subject’s life while technicians began replacing his damaged body parts with mechanised equivalents.
But critics have been quick to point out that six million Zimbabwean dollars may not have been enough to properly construct the ultra high-tech crime fighting android initially envisioned. They cite the use of low cost materials and alleged “patch jobs” as evidence that the Zimbabwean bionics project was chronically underfunded. “His one hand is basically just a braai tong and his power plant consists of seventy two AA torch batteries held together with cellotape,” said one anonymous insider. “It has an old Rhodesian army binoculars lens for an eye, I mean, c’mon.”
Authorities meanwhile moved quickly to quell rumours that the Six Million Zim Dollar Man was poorly constructed, and have appeared eager to establish the soccer ball-headed policeman as the public face of law enforcement. “Not only is the Six Million Zimbabwean Dollar Man as fast a Cheetah and as strong as a truck, but his one leg is actually a shock absorber from a truck!” said defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi at an address on Tuesday. Officials, though, may have bigger problems on their hands, as unconfirmed reports say the Six Million Zim Dollar Man had escaped his handlers overnight and crossed the border into South Africa this morning.