MORE than 10 armed men on Sunday raided three houses in Emakhandeni suburb in Bulawayo and robbed residents of cash and valuables. The gang that was armed with machetes, axes and catapults, pounced on three houses accommodating individuals that sell some wares and chickens in forex.
The menacing gang destroyed doors and removed windowframes to gain entry into the houses where residents were sleeping before robbing them of cash and valuables that included cellphones.
One of the victims was attacked with a machete resulting in her sustaining a deep cut on the arm.
The gang raided the victims at around 2AM and police are said to have arrived at around 4AM, probably after being contacted by one of the victims.
Residents say they now live in fear because of these dangerous armed gangs that are terrorising them at night.
What happened in Emakhandeni suburb is not acceptable and should not be allowed to happen again. Residents cannot have sleepless nights because of armed gangs robbing them and threatening to kill them.
What is disturbing is that the armed gang that attacked residents on Sunday was not even worried that it could attract the attention of the police as it violently broke down doors and windowframes to gain entry into people’s houses.
The gang was behaving as though Bulawayo no longer has police to protect life and property. We want at this juncture to implore the police to come hard on such criminals that are disturbing residents’ peace.
The safest place for any family should be their house which unfortunately is no longer the case for Emakhandeni residents.
Police should urgently increase night patrols in the suburb and should strive to bring such gangs to book in order to restore residents’ confidence in our security systems.
Residents on their part should assist in policing their areas by joining neighbourhood watch committees to complement police patrols.
The armed gangs should not be allowed a free rein as is the case now in Emakhandeni. We have said it before that criminals live among the people and the onus is therefore on the people to rid their communities of these criminals by reporting them to the police.
The councillors should assist in mobilising people to fight crime in their respective areas and any suspicious persons should be reported to the police.
Bulawayo residents should feel very safe in their homes and this is only possible when police account for these armed criminal gangs that terrorise them.