Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
POLICE in Bulawayo yesterday staged a dramatic raid at a residential flat in the city’s Central Business District and arrested seven suspects in an operation that saw drugs and cash being recovered.
The flat, situated at the corner of 1st Avenue and Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Street, was targeted after residents living nearby complained that the area was being turned into a haven of crime.
Police units including CID Drugs and the Canine Unit pounced just after midday.
As some police officers stormed the flat, heavily armed cops surrounded the premises creating a spectacle for Bulawayo residents that was also witnessed by a Chronicle news crew.
Bulawayo Crime Prevention Officer, Chief Superintendent Manuel Usiku, led the operation.
Chief Supt Usiku told The Chronicle that the raid led to the arrest of seven suspects and the recovery of mbanje, broncho and sex enhancing pills.
“So far we have arrested seven accused persons who we are still processing,” he said.
“We are still quantifying the recoveries and but we recovered quite a lot of broncho, we also recovered substantial quantities of mbanje in the hard drugs.”
Chief Supt Usiku attributed the success of the raid to the able leadership of the Officer Commanding Bulawayo Province, Commissioner Bernard Dumbura.
He said Comm Dumbura was instrumental in their ability to effectively conduct the operation which saw them monitoring the area for several weeks before pouncing.
He said drugs have a damaging impact and drug dealers have to be removed from society.
“Of late we have a lot of people who are being admitted to hospitals suffering from mental problems because of drug abuse. We have quite a number of people especially here in Bulawayo who are admitted at Ingutsheni Central Hospital due to the abuse of these drugs. Through our surveillance, we observed that mainly youths were frequenting this place,” Chief Supt Usiku said.
“We want to urge members of the public to desist from taking drugs because drugs have long term health effects. Besides that, when one is under the influence of such drugs, their mental faculties are also affected. They would not be able to think straight. So they are likely to commit offences and can be victims of crime as well.”
He said police are grateful for the co-operation they received from members of the public in the fight to eradicate crime in the city.
Chief Supt Usiku appealed for continued partnership with the public for effective community policing.
Some of the residents who were at the scene applauded police for the operation.
“This kind of a raid serves as a warning to drug dealers elsewhere that the law will catch up with them. We are tired of these drug dealers who are destroying our children.
“A lot of people knew about this place and wondered why those involved were not being arrested. Failing to deal with such known drug dealers leads to the sprouting of similar criminals. Therefore, we are happy with this raid and arrest of the suspects,” said Mr Sizwe Moyo.