COMMUNITIES in Insiza District celebrated the death of a notorious gangster who succumbed to a headache on Tuesday last week.
Mthandazo Sibanda (28) of Denje village under Chief Maduna allegedly complained of a headache for about three days before dying.
He is the son of Mr Njabulo Sibanda.
Mthandazo’s five brothers, villagers alleged, are also popularly known for crimes which range from robberies to attempted murder.
Mthandazo was allegedly the ring leader of the gang which comprised his brothers and cousins.
Village head, Mr Edmond Siwela, confirmed Mthandazo’s death.
He said although death was never something to be celebrated, villagers told him they were relieved and prayed that there would be peace in their community.
“I have never seen people this happy, and most of all, I have never seen or heard of people celebrating someone’s death.
“The Sibanda sons are known for causing trouble in the community and villagers have been living in fear of their gang. I was also once harassed by the now deceased. He came to my home with the intention to attack my son with an axe and when he didn’t find him, he turned on me.
“He threatened to kill me for hiding my son and began to break things in my home. He vandalised my house, breaking doors and windows,” he said.
A villager, a Mr Ndlovu, said hundreds of reports had been made to police over the gang but they never went to jail. “That was our greatest stress, because they always commit crime but never go to jail. The gang did as they pleased in the community without fearing the police. They stole every villager’s happiness, peace and safety,” said Mr Ndlovu..
A villager who preferred anonymity said they felt relieved and hoped that the death of the ring leader would cause the gang to disintegrate and allow them to live in peace and harmony.
“The situation had become unbearable and villagers were living in fear of this uncontrollable gang. On several occasions we appealed to the police to assist and we as villagers were willing to assist them with information which would result in the arrest of such gangs,” the villager said.
Villagers said the gang had turned the area into a “war zone” with frequent bloody clashes involving them and several other gangs.
In June, the gang with other amakorokoza, unleashed a reign of terror in the area in a long standing dispute over gold claims leaving four family members in hospital. Two gang members were arrested but quickly released.