Residents of Pumula North suburb, Bulawayo are living in fear of machete-wielding gangs (MaShurugwi), who are reportedly attacking residents and selling drugs to school children.
Ward 17 Councillor, Sikhululekile Moyo, said the MaShurugwi gangs are from other suburbs staying as tenants in Pumula North.
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They commit robbery in daylight, seizing cellphones and money from people at a bushy area that separates Pumula North from Old Pumula suburb. She said:
In the past two months, we have been experiencing an increase in criminal activities by machete-wielding gangs in the area and it has become a cause of concern.
Most of them engage in these activities after they are drunk. We have also realised that as residents we are living with these criminals in our homes as tenants. These thugs are mainly from other suburbs. They rent our houses and terrorise us.
Meanwhile, Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association (BPRA) Ward Ward 17 Chairperson, Mandlenkosi Gumunyo told residents during a dialogue meeting at Pumula North Hall on Wednesday that MaShurugwi are now selling drugs and alcohol to school children. Said Gumunyo:
This month we had an incident where two Pumula High school pupils were caught in possession of drugs which they claimed they got from a certain gang.
We recently recorded another incident where a 15-year-old girl died after she drank alcohol which we believe she got from the same gang. These are other forms of criminal activities that are now occurring in our area and they are now a cause of concern