By Tichaona Sibanda
12 December 2012
Police in KweKwe have promised to turn the heat up on the activities of the terror group Alshabab, by keeping a close eye on its operations, an MDC-T MP said on Wednesday.
The group calls itself Alshabab (the boys or youth in Arabic) after the notoriously bloodthirsty Somali based Islamic terror group and claims to promote ZANU PF’s controversial indigenization drive in the Midlands based town.
But Settlement Chikwinya, the Mbizo legislator, said they had a meeting with the police on Monday and the three Midlands JOMIC co-chairpersons representing political parties in the GPA. It was decided to pursue all cases perpetrated by the rogue militants until violence is weeded out in the areas they operate.
In the last few months the terror outfit has induced fear in the general public in KweKwe with the primary objective of ensuring people vote ZANU PF in next year’s elections.
The MP told SW Radio Africa that following a spate of attacks on innocent civilians in his constituency orchestrated by the Alshabab, he had written a letter of complaint to JOMIC about the lethargy of the police in failing to arrest members of the deadly group.
‘I wrote this letter in October and it has taken two months for JOMIC and the senior leadership of the police in KweKwe to convene a meeting and deliberate on the constituency’s concerns on the activities of Alshabab, especially around Section 4 shopping centre,’ Chikwinya said.
He emphasized that it is on record the group has been on a spree of terrorizing patrons and shoppers at the shopping complex.
‘ The long and short of the meeting is that we agreed to alert members of the community to report to the police these cases of harassment and forward the crime report or RRB number to my constituency office. People can also text the constituency hotline.
‘The intention is to pursue all reported cases and see to it that the police have acted on them as they promised on Monday. All cases will be forwarded to JOMIC until we weed out any form of violence in our community.
‘I appreciate the lack of confidence which people have in our police, given how they handled previous cases, but let’s ride on this new page and give the police a chance to execute this new commitment. Police argue that while they got to know of the cases of violence, victims were reluctant to report thereby making the cases difficult to prosecute,’ the MP added.
Chikwinya said it was a disturbing fact that nothing had been done to perpetrators of the violence in his constituency.
‘The police have shown no enthusiasm to deal robustly with violence by ZANU PF linked individuals or groups and one wonders the reason for this reluctance,’ he asked.
He called on the police to show courage and be proactive in prosecuting violence offences brought to them, to serve as a deterrent to others, especially in the run-up to crucial elections set for next year.
The number for the constituency hotline, to report cases of harassment, is 0778555941.