With the aim of reinforcing the endless fight against crime in Harare, Khayelitsha ward 98 councillor Anele Gabuza, in partnership with the City of Cape Town, handed over safety gear to members of the neighbourhood watch on Sunday April 9, at Masibambene hall.
The members received jackets, rechargeable torches, walkie talkies, bicycles, helmets and other essential tools.
The funding for the equipment was made available by the councillor through the ward allocation budget.
The City vowed to conduct training to equip the neighbourhood watch members with problem solving skills and ways of diffusing violence.
The aim of the training is to ensure that they also better their chances of getting employment.
The members were praised for protecting their community. They were described as responsible and caring citizens who selflessly give their time to work with the police and other law safety agencies to curb crime.
Thembani Ntozini, City of Cape Town safety and community liaising officer, said the City appreciated the strides made by these individuals and they needed to be acknowledged.
Mr Ntozini said the role played by these residents is irreplaceable and without them the fight against crime would be fruitless.
He said the City would continue to support them in any way they could and they would get first preference whenever there are job opportunities in the City.
Mr Ntozini said these members would also be the eyes and ears of the City by spotting isues such as blocked drains and graffiti in the area. “We cannot as the City fight crime alone, we need the assistance of the community at large. We are thrilled that the councillor has availed this funding. We hope to see many councillors supporting their neighbourhood watch members,” he said.
Ronnie Busakwe, chairperson of Community Policing Forum (CPF) of Harare, said watch members put their lives at risk because they want to safeguard the assets of their community.
He said a lack of resources and facilities were hindering their plans and efforts of curbing crime in area.
He said neighbourhood watch members were often victimised and considered as the number one enemy by criminals but they were now in a better position to fight crime.
“Don’t wear these jackets in taverns and this equipment is not meant to be placed in your cupboards or decorate your home-these are for work purposes,” he said.
Mr Gabuza said he felt the need to equip the watch and encourage them to continue doing a good job. He said the war against crime is not only the fight of the police but everyone has to play a part. He firmly believes that these residents are critical in creating a better society and they ensure that all the taverns in the area, particularly in informal settlements, obey the law.