Police urged to set up base at violence hotspots

THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has been implored to intensify monitoring of violence hotspots in Harare during the Christmas period, particularly bus terminuses, where women and other citizens can no longer move freely for fear of harassment, rape or murder.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

This was raised by Katswe Sistahood, an organisation that fights against the abuse of girls and women.

“The ZRP should establish functional gender responsive police posts at different hotspots, and the identified areas are Copacabana, Fourth Street bus terminus, Market Square, Harare Showgrounds, and Mbudzi, as well as at Karigamombe Centre in order to ensure that only registered and genuine taxi operators are assured parking, and for easy monitoring,” Katswe Sistahood said in a statement recently.

“The crime rate and violence targeted at women continues to escalate at alarming rates, and we demand that these police posts be established this festive season, before December 25, so that women can navigate the city freely and without fear of being harassed, raped or murdered,” they said along Simon Mazorodze Road.

In May 2016, a pregnant woman was killed by touts at Mbudzi loading and offloading zone.

Travellers, particularly women, are manhandled and forced to board certain buses against their wish by touts at bus terminuses.

The civic group also implored the Transport ministry to restore normalcy in the public transport system, particularly to ensure that all taxis that operate in Harare are registered, as well as their drivers so that they are easily identifiable.

“Women, who are users of public transport, are experiencing violence in its different forms, from beatings to robberies. We are especially enraged by the recent spate of murders and gang raping of women in the city.”

Law enforcement agents last month said they were on high alert following a spate of armed robberies and rape incidents around the country, particularly in Harare, where rogue taxi drivers were terrorising women.

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