CEASAR MBEWE writes
LUSAKA’S Makeni Villa Park residents have requested the police to intensify night patrols in the area to curb the rising levels of crime in the area.
The residents’ calls comes after the area recorded three incidences in which people were attached by the criminals believed to be from the ‘junkies’ gang’.
They said that the criminals there are now so notorious that they attached people from as early as 19:00hours.
One resident, Mr. Simon Nyeleti, a grocery owner, disclose that the junkies attached him between 18:00hours and 19:00hours as he was from escorting his friend.
“I only managed to escape by the grace of God otherwise, I could have been killed by those junkies who are now all over the area. I’m the third person to be attacked this week. It’s a serious problem if they can now attack you around 18:00hours without any fear at all. Police should intensify their patrols,” said Nyeleti.
Another shop owner, Mr. Malumbo Hamoonga, wondered why police were not acting to stop the problem when it has already been reported to them.
“We have been reporting to the Kanyama police about the junkies. Police who reside in this area actually know exactly what happens here but nothing has happened,” said Hamoonga who suspects the reports are not brought to the attention of the officer in charge.
Hamoonga suspects the police may be scared to deal with the ‘junkies’ because some of the come be coming from ‘powerful’ families who speak to the police every time they get into trouble.
“Another problem is that most of these junkies are between 15 and 25 years old, and still living with their parents. We have a situation whereby even if you take these boys to the police after finding them attacking someone, they are still released.” Hamoonga said.
He also blamed the refusal by some people in Makeni to form a neighbourhood watch group as another reason why criminal activities have increased in the rea.
The criminals in the Makeni area have also reportedly been harassing bus drivers and shop owners demanding for money from them.
But police spokesperson, Esther Mwata Katonga, on Monday January 28, denied there were reports of such criminal activities in the area reported to the police.