Villagers in Bubi wards 1 and 12 are living in fear as incidences of violent crime continue to soar. Illicit artisanal mining activities in the District have been identified as one of the key drivers of crime in the area.
The issue of crime was identified as a development concern during local level advocacy trainings conducted by Habakkuk Trust in both wards. In these workshops, community members reported an alarming increase of armed robberies, assault, manslaughter, and other minor cases in their areas.
About two months ago, the Habakkuk Trust Advocacy Action Team Convener for Bubi ward 1 Pastor Ephraim Ndlovu, succumbed to burn injuries sustained when robbers’ petrol bombed his house during a robbery. No arrests have been made so far. Pastor Ndlovu was one among the leading community voices on the issue.
The community is struggling to come to terms with the gruesome murder of the local pastor and as a result there is growing fear and intolerance of strangers.
“This area is no longer safe, our children are now afraid of going to school because of the levels of crime in this ward,” said an Action Team member in Bubi ward 1. “We need to work closely with the police for a quick reaction to crime incidents.”
The local community, with the help of Habakkuk Trust has since engaged the Zimbabwe Republic Police Community Relations Liaison Office to discuss effective strategies in restoring law and order.
In the meeting, communities resolved to speedily establish neighborhood watch committees that will push for the establishment of police bases in both wards.
“You can have as many people as possible in the neighborhood watch committee, there is no limit,” Sergent Runesu said while advising the community.
“Once these are established, it becomes easier to lobby for the establishment of a police base.”
Runesu also advised the community to report any suspicious individuals or activities happening in the wards and never accommodate strangers. Sergeant Runesu is the ZRP community relations and liaison officer for Bubi.
The presence of neighborhood watch committees and police details in the wards is envisaged to enable quick response and reduce incidences of crime in both areas.
Source: Habakkuk Trust