False alarm on Bulawayo child beheadings — police

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BULAWAYO — Police chief spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena says rumours making the rounds in Bulawayo about child beheadings were the invention of mischievous people bent on distorting information on the human trafficking campaign done a few weeks before the World Cup.
Rumours of people abducting children and then beheading them had left residents of Bulawayo panicking, leading to some children skipping lessons.
Bvudzijena said the human trafficking awareness campaign had been hijacked by unscrupulous rumour-mongers triggering unnecessary alarm and despondency in Bulawayo.
“The campaign we carried out was to raise awareness on human trafficking in light of the World Cup. However, we believe the campaign was hijacked by mischievous people who have spread the rumours of child abductions and beheadings,” Bvudzijena said.
“There was gross distortion of information. We continue to check with our officers on the ground and we have also encouraged members of the public to come forward with any information they may have on this issue,” he said.
He said the human trafficking campaign was launched with the interest of people at heart.
“When we carried out that campaign, it was for the good of residents and we were alerting them on possibilities that might occur during the World Cup. Our message was clear,” said Bvudzijena.
The campaign warned Zimbabweans that due to the influx of foreigners, there could be people who might con unsuspecting job seekers that they could secure employment for them during the World Cup.
The campaign was also to make people aware of drug trafficking.
Bulawayo residents last week lambasted police for allegedly failing to deal with the rumours of beheadings .
In response, the Bulawayo Metropolitan police spokesperson, Inspector Mandlenkosi Moyo, said they had surveillance teams closely monitoring the situation.
“We encourage members of the public to come forward with any information they may have or they can call our hotline numbers on 999 or 995.
Members of the public are also encouraged to use our suggestion boxes, which we check every two days and they can choose to remain anonymous,” Moyo said.