POLICE in Masvingo province have expressed concern over the sharp increase in road accidents, cases of drowning and rape of juveniles.
By Tatenda Chitagu
Speaking at a belated end-of year party at Masvingo Polytechnic last Saturday, Police Commissioner (Crime) Solomon Mubatapasango said sexual offences involving juveniles increased by 5%, while 107 people drowned in 2014.
“It is evident that there is profound need for the province to vigorously enhance its strategies aimed at curbing rape of juveniles which increased by 5%,” Mubatapasango said.
“While it is pleasing to note that the country has been receiving constant rains, marking a fairly good start to the rainy season, the province has already noted a surge in the number of deaths as a result of drowning,” he said.
“It is deeply worrisome that most people do not take the necessary precautions to prevent drowning especially in flooded rivers. Resultantly, the province received 107 cases of drowning in 2014 as compared to 85 cases in 2013.”
The statistics also show that deaths from road accidents increased along the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway, reinforcing the need for the dualisation of the road, dubbed “the highway to death”.
“It is exceedingly sad that accidents on our roads mainly Masvingo-Bridge, Ngundu-Tanganda and Harare-Masvingo highway continue to claim innocent and precious lives,” Mubatapasango said
“The province recorded a 10% increase in road accidents from 1 802 recorded in 2013 to 1 974 in 2014. The number of deaths also increased from 25 in 2013 to 31 in 2014. It is painful to note that most fatalities were recorded during the 2014 festive season.”
He, however, said the general crime level in Masvingo had been reduced by 6%.