Residents of Bulawayo yesterday said they no longer feel safe after the Wednesday raid on Nkulumane Police Station by criminals who stole guns from under the police officers’ noses.
The arms theft, reported in yesterday’s NewsDay, has set tongues wagging in Bulawayo, with residents doubting their safety if robbers could break into a police station and make off with firearms.
The residents said it was surprising that police could have their base broken into and raided when the station was under guard round the clock.
Winos Dube, the chairman of the Bulawayo Residents’ Association (BURA), described the incident as frightening.
“As residents, we are shocked and frightened at how such a thing could happen,” he said.
“Who then will protect us? What makes it worse is that these criminals got away with guns and these guns could be used to commit other crimes and as residents this makes us live in fear.”
The programmes officer for the Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association (BUPRA), Rodrick Fayayo, echoed the same sentiments.
“It is shocking to learn that people can go to such extents as raiding a police station.
“As residents, we are no longer safe because we depend on the police to protect us against such criminals,” he said.
Rumbidzai Chitoto (25) said she felt unsafe after the incident.
“What happened is not only surprising but very scary. I am no longer sure if I can go to the police station if I am robbed as they too can be easily robbed,” she said.
Meanwhile, police sources said yesterday the incident could have been an inside job.
Sources said the suspects were familiar with the police station’s layout.
“There are a lot of questions that have not been answered by these police officers who were on duty. We wonder why they did not hear these people as they tried to remove the tiles on the roof of the offices.
“We also wonder how they failed to hear movements on the ceiling if they were alert and were not part of the break-in,” said a source.
NewsDay is reliably informed the police have instituted investigations targeting certain senior officers at Nkulumane and most of those that were on duty on Tuesday night.
“All the police officers stationed at Nkulumane Police Station will be quizzed,” said a source.
“Even if one of the officers was off duty or on leave, they shall be called back to the station and will have to answer questions.”
Although the incident occurred more than 38 hours earlier, police national spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena Thursday said he was yet to get a full report on the matter.
“I am yet to get a full brief on this matter. I have not contacted Bulawayo (police) to get the details of what happened. If you call me later, then I might have an answer for you,” Bvudzijena said.
Contacted again, Bvudzijena still did not have full details at the time of going to print.