Bulawayo police have just six vehicles covering a population of 650,000, the city’s top cop revealed on Monday as he pleaded for private sector support.
The city is battling an upsurge in armed robberies targeting mainly businesses and cash-in-transit vehicles.
Commissioner Patton Mbangwa, speaking during a meeting with the Bulawayo business community, said they desperately need new vehicles for faster responses to crime scenes.
“The organisation is seriously underfunded in terms of resources. We only have a vehicle each for Queenspark, Luveve, Entumbane, Bulawayo Central (Ford Ranger), Mzilikazi (Ford Ranger) and Magwegwe. The Hillside vehicle was involved in an accident and it was a write-off while Donnington has what resemblances a vehicle,” Commissioner Mbangwa said.
“Those are the only reliable vehicles that Bulawayo as a province has. All these other stations have no vehicles. All these Mazda B18s… they have had their better days on the road. The reliable Queenspark vehicle is covering the whole Suburban District. When you make a report, that vehicle might be somewhere on another assignment. That’s the truth of the matter, our bosses and government are aware of this.
“I’m glad that you are aware that we’re incapacitated. How can you as the business community of Bulawayo province assist us to be able to assist you?”
Two weeks ago, a woman was killed after being shot twice in the head during a robbery at a liquor store in Ascot. Last week robbers seized money from a cash-in-transit vehicle picking up cash from a Choppies Supermarket in Parklands. The van had cash boxes picked up from six other Choppies outlets.