Flora Fadzai Sibanda, Chronicle Reporter
MORE than 1 000 residents of Lobengula West in Bulawayo have pooled resources together to fight crime in the suburb and have since engaged a private security company to patrol the area both during the day and at night.
The initiative follows a series of criminal activities that have plagued the suburb since the beginning of the year. Recently, a 31-year-old woman from the suburb was killed in cold blood by her live-in boyfriend following a dispute over supper.
The victim, Mr Mxolisi Sibanda (48) died after he was stabbed to death for shouting at the suspect, Agrenna Chimali.
In June, a local businessman Langelihle Dube who ran a tuck shop at his home and car park in the same suburb, was killed at his home by machete- wielding robbers who got away with US$25.
In March, a popular Highlanders fan and musician Thulani “Thuts” Dube was shot by armed robbers during a foiled robbery. Mr Dube used to run Harsh Touch Entertainment, was shot when he and other neighbours attended to a distress call at Sai Mart Supermarket in the suburb where the robbers had tied up guards.
He suffered a deep graze on the left side of his back just above the kidney area.
Residents said they are fed up by the prevalence of crime in the suburb hence their decisiion to hire the services of Value Eye Security Company.
The daily security patrols run from 6am to 6pm and each household is supposed to contribute US$7 a month.
The patrol team comprises 30 security guards and volunteers, who move around the suburb using four motor bikes, spray guns and four dogs.
The organising secretary of the Lobengula Residents Association Mr Mzingaye Ncube said the initiative was prompted by the increase in crime in the suburb. He said 1 080 households decided to pool resources together to improve security in the suburb by hiring the services of the security company.
“This initiative was necessitated by upsurge in criminal cases in the suburb as residents are now living in fear. The security guards are now patrolling the suburb during the day and at night to deter criminals,” he said.
The company guards started their patrols on Sunday evening when they were introduced to residents at a meeting held at a local shopping centre in the suburb.
Each household is supposed to contribute U$S7 every month with Value Eye Security getting US$4 while U$S2 will go towards the Bulawayo United Residents Association. The remainder will be channelled towards the construction of a community hall,” said Mr Ncube.
He said almost half of the households having already paid their contributions and was urging those yet to pay to do so.
In separate interviews, residents said this was a great initiative which they hoped will bring down crime in the suburb.
“The company hired four boys from our community so besides enhancing security, the initiative is creating employment for locals, said Mr Precious Moyo.
Ms Rebecca Ncube said the initiative will go a long way in guaranteeing security in the suburb.
Mr Vulindlela Ndimande said: “This will address our security fears, especially among vulnerable groups such as women and children. At night the security guards escort us home.”
The Managing Director of Value Eye Security Mr Khulumani Mlotshwa said their mission is ensuring the safety of residents.
“We have set up a base at the stand where residents want to build a community hall and our men will be on standby ready to assist or respond to distress calls,” he said.
Article Source: The Chronicle