By Mvelo Mthiyane Zondo
WARD 9 residents have declared a total war on thieves under the banner of “Operation Udingani
kuWard 9 ebusuku”
The ward Councillor, Thulani Moyo, narrated at length how their operation was hatched and how
it is going to be implemented.
“Having realised the level of crime rate in the ward and the laxity of police in eliminating it,
residents hatched a plan on how they can flash-out these criminals, who are harassing them
during the night.
“We then mobilised funds at ward level to have a watchdog committee, which will be fused with
a local security company to start night patrols from 6pm to 6am.
“This team will stop and ask any suspicious person whom they suspect could be a criminal
(where are you going and where are from?).
“Failure to give a satisfactory answer, the team won’t hesitate to apply force before handing over
the suspect to the police.
“We come to a point of saying wafa wafa because people are losing their property and valuables
to these criminals, who also rape our women and children,” explained Cllr Moyo.
The most painful thing, he added, was that criminals were let scot-free by both the police and the
judiciary, a sad development which frustrates members of the community.
“I am very worried about the security act or our judiciary services, whereby the long arm of law
must help members of the community by coming up with deterrent sentences to eliminate these
“Most of the times we always debate that these criminals are foreign people coming from other
districts or provinces with overnight buses while others strongly believe that they are locals.
“So if they get arrested and incarcerated we will be able to identify them and trace their origins
“I have since engaged the provincial prosecutor to organise a community meeting with police
and judiciary so that we get clarity on who is working with these criminals,” said Cllr Moyo.
Contacted for comment, Matabeleland South Provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Loveness
Mangena, urged the Councillor and residents to involve police in their operation as this might
cause alarm and despondency.
“I am afraid if residents are doing this operation alone because there will be a problem but if it's
an operation of police being backed up by the public it can be a very good strategy of limiting
“Those found moving loitering at night for no apparent reason can be put in cells and released
the following morning after payment of a fine. If done with due respect for human rights I think
there will be no problem. But if done by the community alone without police, then we might
have some problems considering that movement at night alone does not make one a crime
perpetrator,” warned the police spokesperson.