By Thandeka Matebesi
TSHOLOTSHO leaders have expressed concern over the alarming levels of violent crimes committed by youths from Ward 16.
In an interview with Community Podium,Councillor Isaac Moyo said the local leadership resolved to call for an all-stakeholders meeting to try and address the challengesfacing the community.
“We called for a meeting in our ward with the community and the police to try and address the alarming levels of crimes being committed by young people in our area.
“The crimes being committed are shocking, even during our youthful days we never used to witness such unruly behaviour,” Moyo said before government tightened the lockdown measures.
“We came together with the headmen as leaders and wrote a letter of request to the Chairperson of Tsholotsho RDC asking him to bring with him the police to our ward so that they could assist us with ways of dealing with the challenges we are currently facing.
“These young people who have been causing problems for the community carry extremely dangerous weapons. Five people from my ward have been killed since these youngsters started on their path of crime and violence.”
He said the number of killings in the ward by the youths was worrying.
Giving an account of a recent murder that shook the community, Moyo said: “We recently buried a community member of Kwali Village, Fezile Ncube, who was stabbed by a spear on his way home from a football tournament at Mkono.”
Tsholotsho Rural District Council (RDC) chairperson, Councillor Esau Siwela, said they had resolved to increase police patrols in the ward.
“We resolved to have five neighbourhood watch committees per village and the village heads must identify the trainees and bring them to Tsholotsho ZRP for training.
“The ZRP officer in charge for Tsholotsho will bring a team from the police station to monitor those areas regularly,” Siwela said.
He said the escalation of crimes was an indication that the community needed to urgently put in place measures to contain the situation.
”My hope is that the Ward 16 community can get rid of the violent occurrences and that they start experiencing peace. All these murder cases that I have been hearing about are a sign that something is wrong and we need to do something about it soon.
“I also hope that there can be a way to get all these youngsters who dropped out of school to go back to school so that they do not spend all their time drinking and smoking at such a tender age,” Siwela said.
He said a police base was needed in the area to serve as a deterrent to would-be offenders and juvenile delinquents.
“We are now lobbying for a police base in the Ward with the hope that the presence of the police can at least deter the youths from all the illegal acts they are currently involved in.
“With the police nearby, there would be reduced sales of illicit beer and other dangerous substances to our youth.”
Siwela took a swipe at parents who conceal information on crimes committed by their children, obstructing the course of justice.
He urged community members to cooperate with law enforcement agents in fighting crime.