Bulawayo residents have raised concern at the increase in house break-ins in high density suburbs of Emganwini and Nketa, a development which has seen many people lose their valuables including cash.
Residents of the two suburbs in told CITE they were now living in fear of thieves breaking into their houses anytime.
At one house in Emganwini thieves removed burglar bars from one of the rooms and gained entry into the house during the early hours of Sunday before escaping with cash.
Thieves are also breaking car windows overnight looking for valuables.
Some break-ins happen during the day especially on Sundays when most people would have gone to church.
“We are no longer free to leave our houses unattended to because of these thieves,” said one resident of Emganwini.
Councillor for Ward 26, under which Emganwini falls, Norman Hlabano, confirmed the disturbing developments in his area to CITE.
“It is very true there have been a number of house breaking cases in Emganwini and in some cases, residents have been beaten-up,” said Cllr Hlabano.
“These thieves, are not thieves per se, but they are our children who do not have jobs and spend much of their time drinking and then at night they break into people’s houses looking for money.”
Bulawayo United Residents Association (BURA) chairperson, Winos Dube, said they believed the break-ins were aggravated by the economic situation in the country.
“We are receiving reports of residents being attacked by thieves though I am not in a position to give statistics,” said Dube.
“This is being worsened by the drought; people are suffering. The economic situation and the unavailability of jobs are causing all this. The country has to seriously look into this issue.”
Bulawayo police spokesperson, Abednico Ncube, said he could not comment on the Emganwini and Nketa cases in particular since he was out of office.
He, however, said crime rate was generally on a decline in the city.
“Looking at the trends from the previous years, there is nothing alarming,” added Ncube.