Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
POLICE in Matabeleland South have recorded a 15 percent increase in reported crime between January and April this year compared to the same period last year, an official has said.
The Officer Commanding Matabeleland South province, Commissioner Patson Nyabadza, revealed the statistics during the re-launch of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Client Service Charter at Mqegula Business Centre, Mangwe District on Wednesday.
He said crimes of passion and livestock theft are the most common.
Comm Nyabadza said crime reports increased from 2 511 in 2018 to 2 901 this year between January and April.’
“Our province has recorded a significant rise in the crime situation for the period January to April 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.
“In 2018 we recorded 20 murder incidents and this year we have recorded 30 murder cases while stocktheft cases rose from 375 to 402 cases.
“Another crime of concern is rape of juveniles which increased from 73 in 2018 to 84 this year. We, however, recorded a decline in some crimes which include armed robbery where firearms are used.
“These dropped from 15 last year to six this year while unlawful entry cases decreased from 545 to 528 in the period under review,” said Comm Nyabadza.
He said general theft cases increased from 630 to 803 while fraud incidents jumped from 41 to 62 cases. Plain robbery cases increased from 44 to 67.
Comm Nyabadza said theft from vehicles cases decreased from 109 to 64 cases.
He said other notable crimes include rape and armed robbery using other weapons which are not guns.
Comm Nyabadza said livestock theft was threatening people’s livelihoods while murder and attempted murder cases were of concern as lives are needlessly lost.
“I’m not pleased to mention that our people in this province have lost quite a number of cattle to stock thieves and cattle rustlers.
“While the police are doing their best to curb the scourge, I appeal to the public to join hands with the police by counting and penning their livestock daily, branding cattle with personal brands and early reporting of stolen stock.
“Delays in reporting cases make it difficult for our officers to investigate and arrest suspects,” said Comm Nyabadza.
“We are also concerned about murder and attempted murder cases.
“It’s a pity to inform you at this juncture that we continue to lose the precious gift of life as a result of petty arguments or misunderstandings especially from beer drinking and domestic disputes emanating from suspected infidelity cases.”
He said crimes of passion could be avoided if members of the public sought counselling for their problems.
Comm Nyabadza said knives, axes and knobkerries are the most commonly used weapons in the commission of some of the heinous crimes.
He said a prohibition notice against the carrying of dangerous weapons as announced by provincial policing districts is still in effect and urged the public to comply with the legal directive.
Comm Nyabadza said the re-launch of the Client Service Charter is part of the ZRP’s tools to improve community policing activities.
He said the service charter launch coincides with the police branding exercise and appealed to the public to give them feedback on how the force can improve its operations.
“Let us play our role in making Matabeleland South in particular and Zimbabwe as a whole a safe destination for all.
“Let me take this opportunity to thank you for the unwavering support you are giving to us as ZRP not only in Bulilima and Mangwe districts but the entire province,” Comm Nyabadza said.
The event was attended by senior civil servants, police officers, traditional leaders and members of the community. — @nqotshili