By Simbarashe Fenton M
REDCLIFF: Torwood residents have raised concerns over the increase in crime rates placing the blame on the law enforcers for not taking action in dealing with perpetrators, citing corruption.
The continued robbery and machete gang related deaths is a cause for concern for residents who are now fear for their souls. These crimes have continued for years in the former steel mining town. Recently a man was murdered in broad day light by a member of a machete gang after a series of disagreements. The Zimbabwe Republic Police has been blamed for its incompetence in dealing with these kinds of crimes.
Community reports reaching this publication claim that a number of artisanal miners known as ‘makorokoza’, have terrorized, stabbed and killed people in broad day light. Numerous machete gang wars have become rampant in the area resulting in the loss of precious life.
With high unemployment rate, criminals and robbers are said to target those who are doing projects such as broiler rearing and bell selling by taking down windows, breaking in at night taking away money and other important possessions armed with machetes and other dangerous weapons
“The area is no longer safe to live at all, these days they target some of us who are into projects such as broiler rearing and scrap gathering. They break windows and even the roof to get access to rob people…” said a Torwood resident whose identity cannot be disclosed for security reasons.
Some residents accused the Zimbabwe Republic Police for not taking action on the offenders even though they get these reports often. Another resident argued that the police officers at the Duty Room deliberately do not take action upon residents’ complaints because they accept bribery from the criminals. At times the law enforcers drink beer with the perpetrators leaving the victims vulnerable to danger.
“Even if you report to the police at the Duty Room the difference is the same because they will just take a statement and promise to make a follow up but that will be it. The last person who was killed reported to the police having been threatened after a brawl and few hours later the person who had threatened the guy was seen scot free. Then later on the victim was murdered, so the difference is the same,” said a resident who identified himself as Baba Jim.
Efforts to get a comment from the police were fruitless as Redcliff Officer in Charge directed this reporter to ZRP Dispol at Kwekwe Central whose phone went unanswered before the story was published.
However, Ward 2 councillor told this reporter that the situation made them engage the law enforcers in order to keep the residents safe.
“Yes, robbery cases in Torwood are on the increase resulting on the life security threat of residents. As council we have engaged the police sezvo vanhu vanga valupazirwa dzimba (burglary was increasing). The police has responded…” said Ward 2, Torwood councilor Munikwa addressing the situation.
This publication also learned that residents are now even afraid to respond to emergency calls from their neighbors in fear of victimization during the night.
For a long time now Redcliff residents in Torwood have been in danger because of the machete gangs. There is need for law enforcers to act with urgency on this matter in order to save more lives.