BY NUNURAI JENA
Villagers in Gatche Gatche, Kariba, have pleaded with the Zimbabwe Republic Police to set up a base in their area to curb the rising crime rate.
Gatche Gatche ward 12 councillor Tichaona Makanyaire said many criminal cases were going unreported, as people have to commute for more than 70km to the nearest police station in Kariba to lodge a complaint.
He said the situation was compounded by transport challenges, because buses only plied the route twice a week.
“The issue of a police base is an old one. There is need for a police base because the area has a high crime rate and most cases such as murder and rape go unreported because of the distance,” Makanyaire said.
Gatche Gatche Fisheries chairperson Tichaona Manzungu said the area was now a hideout for criminals from as far as Harare.
“We have been asking the police to set up a police base in the area, but nothing has materialised,” he said.
Even Chief Musambakaruma agreed that the area needed a police base because most of the cases that were brought before traditional courts were beyond their jurisdiction.
Mashonaland West police spokesperson Inspector Clemence Mabgweazara acknowledged that the area has a high crime rate, but advised the community to make a formal request.
“The community, through their leaders, be it a councillor or chief, can make a written request and the police will follow due procedure in setting up a base,” Mabgweazara said.
Gatche Gatche lies along the shores of Lake Kariba and the area is mostly a game reserve.
Recently, ICT, Postal and Courier Services minister Kazembe Kazembe commissioned the fourth multi-operator radio access networks base station in the area.
The solar-powered base station can be used by all three network service providers for connectivity and Gache Gache is the fourth of five to be commissioned in the country.