Speaking during the meeting organised by the Local Peace Committee (LPC), the officer in charge of Njube police station, Sergeant Dennis Maturi said they are working with the community to make sure that such acts of violence are reported, and the criminals are brought to book.
“We are now working hand and glove with the community. We regret that a life has been lost due to these gangs, but we assure you that we are alert as the police and we promise to respond swiftly to such crimes,” he said.
Sergeant Maturi said amabhemba ( machetes) were now a symbol of violence and anyone who is seen in possession of these will be arrested. He went on to say that these machete wielding thugs are terrorising innocent people leaving them traumatised.
“People often experience psychological terrorism and feel defenceless once these people pounce on them. Members if the public are discouraged from carrying such objects because they might face arrest,” said Sergeant Maturi.
A representative of the Lobengula neighbourhood committee, Mr Nkosana Mazibisa pointed out that they had taken the responsibility to manage their own security in partnership with the police to patrol daily.
“We have managed to identify faithful neighbourhood watch personnel and those with altruistic motives. With the help of police officer, I am sure that we will manage to contain the illegal activities in the city that are wreaking havoc in our communities,” he said.
Zimbabwe Christian Alliance board member, Reverend Milson Ndlovu said the issue of awareness raising against using private cars was emphasised. He said women were also cautioned to be alert and avoid walking in secluded paths.
“People are being killed as early at 5pm as it is winter, and it gets darker early. Honda fits have been implicated kidnappings. Women and everybody else should make sure that they use safer routes where they are in the public eye to avoid being mugged or raped,” he said.
Recently the police arrested three members of a gang that has been terrorising residents of Mabutweni suburb. The gang has been attacking people with axes and machetes at night leading to the death of two people.