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Nehanda Guardian Provincial Newspapers

Rethinking rise in crime, murders


HARDLY a week passes without reports of what appears to be acts of absolute
senseless violence and murders. The trend, perhaps, suggests the need for a
spirited campaign involving various layers of people and groups in society.
It appears that crime, drugs and violence are among the drivers of the upsurge in
recorded number of murders.
The effects of Covid-19 induced lockdown and the attendant confinement were often
cited as the causes of the upsurge in murders, particularly domestic ones. However,
with the relaxation of the restrictions, the number of murders have not gone done
Some of the murders have been so brutal that it defies logic whether the perpetrators
are human beings or some barbaric animals.
Recent available figures from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat)
show that there were over 19 000 cases of robberies and more than 3 500 murders.
For, example in 2020 there were 9 364 robberies with 931 of these being armed.
These figures show a rise in 2021 with 9515 recorded robberies, 1120 being armed.
In the corresponding period there were 1614 recorded murders with the figure rising
to 1969 in 2021.
The response from the law-enforcement agencies has been to ban the possession of
machetes, declare an amnesty for all illegal possession of firearms, and the
establishment of a specialised national taskforce to deal with rising cases of criminal
But that has not seen a corresponding drop in cases of robberies and murders. This
could perhaps suggest that more needs to be done. And this could be in the area of
public campaigns that raise greater awareness about criminal activities.
The public campaign could target areas where people gather. These could be at
shops, markets, bus stops, church gatherings, social clubs, sporting activities,
traditional leaders’ courts and village networks, so that the campaign reaches and
influences many more people.
Such a campaign could run concurrently with counselling services or generally
explaining how and where people could receive counselling, because prevention is
better than cure.
With expert guidance, there could be a similar campaign but specifically aimed at
enabling school children to spot acts of violence, and what they should do or the go-
to-points to report, as these so often lead to murders.
With the provincial agricultural show season now in full swing, the campaign against
the upsurge in crime and murders could be launched at these shows as they tend to
attract a broad section of people from society.

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