Last week Thursday evening Norton residents in Ward 7 began sending each other messages asking about the group of violent people who were running around, stoning houses and cars.
The violent mob randomly shattered windows on houses and parked cars.
At the end of this single night three people were stabbed and cut by machetes.
Later that week, a Police Officer, Blessing Mkhuhlani, was ganged up on and beaten by makorokoza at a bar in Katanga.
Currently he is hospitalised.
Norton is now gripped in fear for what they thought was over is returning.
A few months ago, ZRP warned residents to desist from walking in the evening as robbery and even murder cases spiked.
The police ascribed the cases to the farming season and said with the harvesting of crops the cases would subside.
Apparently, they have not.
Norton residents are currently living in fear of enemies who prowl the streets during the day and night.
During the day some of the perpetrators are local youths who are into drugs and many artisanal miners who flock in from the many mines dotted around the town.
Councillor for Ward 7 Douglas Chililo, who has himself joined a ZRP patrol unit for his area, says there is a need for concerted efforts to fight violent crimes.
“It now requires the efforts of everyone who has a child to take action because the ZRP are seriously understaffed to manage the situation.
“That is the truth.
“The gangs are huge and organised and if you try to disturb them they swear to deal with you.
“I have been a victim of this myself,” he says.
We Need Soldiers to Fight Crime
Disturbed by the sheer scale of violence some have called for the return of soldiers into the streets.
During the previous Covid-19 lockdown members of the Zimbabwe National Army were deployed to enforce safety measures.
Their presence in the town managed to instil discipline and importantly resulted in a reduced crime rate.
“Soldiers should return into Norton because its now too much.
“We no longer have peace in our area and the local leaders are failing,” says one resident.
The general crime region in Norton is largely in Ward 7 where the business hub of Katanga Shopping Centre is located.
It is there where the artisinal miners come for beer drinking and engaging with sex-workers.
lately some of the mines, such as Acot Mine, have been closed and this has created a mass population of jobless youths.
However, other mines, such as Epson, are still functioning and providing miners with much case to spend.
The many youths who are into drugs also have various ‘bases’ in houses that are around Katanga Shopping area.
It is in this vortex of drugs, money and sex that violence and crimes are proliferating, exploding on innocent lives.
ZRP Helpless Against Crime
The ZRP has been engaged before by the town legislator Temba Mliswa, over the issue.
Their bane remains the lack of resources to tackle the problems.
They don’t have adequate vehicles for patrols and their human resource numbers are poor too.
In a bid to alleviate the situation, about 2 months ago Mliswa donated two vehicles and 15 bicycles to Norton Police.
However, the donations were allegedly the subject of political shenanigans due to Mliswa’s political differences with some police leaders.
Resultantly, the donations have not been used.
Whilst the leaders are playing politics the residents of Norton continue suffering the brunt of crime and drugs.