Bulawayo residents say the rising cases of violent crimes in the city make them feel unsafe and called on the police to come up with a solution to the menace.
The city has in recent weeks witnessed a spate of armed robberies, murder cases and attacks on residents by machete-wielding gangs.
An unknown number of armed robbers last week got away with an undisclosed amount of money when they raided a Choppies supermarket in Bulawayo’s Parklands suburb.
Ambrose Sibindi, Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association chairman, said criminals were taking advantage of lack of police visibility to commit crimes.
“We are no longer safe as residents,” Sibindi said.
“We can now be attacked even in broad daylight.
“Robbers are taking advantage that there are few police officers who also do not have vehicles to move around and combat crime.”
He challenged the police to be vigilant and arm themselves just like the South African police.
Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said cops were doing their best to combat crime in the city.
He said out of the six murder cases that were committed in the city last week, five of them had been concluded.
“We have open-door policing,” Ncube said.
“We need to team up with residents to close the gap, residents have a right to approach the officer-in-charge of their station and do police deployment together.”
A machete gang recently attacked Mabuthweni residents, killing two, while several were hospitalised after suffering serious injuries.
A shop attendant at a liquor outlet at Ascot shopping centre was shot dead by marauding armed robbers a week ago.
Some fear trained members of the security forces could be behind the armed robberies as they have access to dangerous weapons.
Last month Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe told senators that: “It is indeed true that most of these cases of armed robberies are being done by armed men and women from the police force as well as the army.”-standard