VILLAGERS in rural Kariba and the Negande and Luunga areas of Binga said they were now living in fear following a spate of cold blood murders perpetrated by unknown armed assailants.
The incidents started in 2019 when a war veteran from Chief Negande area was shot dead in the middle of the night at his homestead.
Last year, villagers in the Negande area said they recorded three fatal shooting incidents, but no suspects were arrested after the cases were reported at police stations in Binga and Karoi.
Last month, two people from Mayove village under Chief Negande were lucky to survive after their homes were attacked by unknown gunmen in the middle of the night.
Binga villager Nkopo Masteki from Chief Sinamusanga area was also shot and injured by unidentified people, while another villager only identified as Nchumpopa from Siamupa was shot dead on January 2 this year.
On January 6, Wireless Siamalongo Munsaka (63) was shot dead by unknown persons at Ngotola village, Nsemwa, Siabuwa.
Kariba’s ward 4 councillor Jason Charinga on Monday said: “The presence and use of firearms of late has become a serious concern to these poor communities.
“We are appealing to authorities at Nyaminyami and Binga to urgently intervene and carry out co-ordinated investigations into this matter, and bring whoever is responsible to book before things go out of hand. Criminals cannot take the law into their own hands.”
Matabeleland North police spokesperson Inspector Glory Banda said: “Cases of murder are becoming so rampant in Matabeleland North and there is need to combat their prevalence.
“These murders normally are a result of misunderstandings over family and social issues. Irritable and vindictive lawless citizens are usually quick to wield weapons such as axes whenever they are wronged.”
She added: “As police in Matabeleland North province, we are carrying out patrols and crime awareness campaigns entreating the populace not to resort to crime, but to settle issues amicably.”