JOSSY CHAIMA writes
POLICE in Kitwe have rounded up more than 50 notorious gang members who have been terrorising residents in various townships.
The law enforcement officers mounted an operation in highly-populated areas, particularly in former unplanned settlements, and apprehended gangsters on Thursday and Friday.
In the last few days two new gangs, namely Sokota and Unruly, have emerged in Miseshi Mindolo Township and surrounding areas.
Kitwe District Commissioner (DC) Binwell Mpundu said police rounded up the gangsters with the help of members of the community.
“The days of the criminal gangs in Kitwe are numbered as the operations so far conducted by the police are yielding good results, thanks to the support from the members of the communities who are now willingly giving us tip-offs as to where these criminals are hiding.
“In the last two days, over 50 arrests have been made and we have now vowed to eliminate these criminals completely,” he said on Saturday night on his Facebook wall.
Mr Mpundu said police would continue engaging members of society because community policing was the best to share information about criminals.
“I therefore wish to note with delight the efforts being made by the police in cracking down on these criminals and it should be noted that there will not be any stone left unturned in our quest to eliminate these gangs,” he added.
Mr Mpundu said there were some members of the community harbouring and sponsoring criminals, who were beating up and stealing from innocent residents, sometimes during the day.
“A warning to all those keeping or otherwise sponsoring these criminals that your days are numbered. You may have to start running for your lives,” he said.
Kitwe had in the past witnessed terrorism at the hands of gangs, mostly comprising youths, mostly from Mulenga Township while others had set up hide-outs in Bulangililo and Kwacha areas.
Last year, Inspector-General of police Kakoma Kanganja led a patrol team which combed Mulenga Township and other areas at the height of gang-related crimes perpetrated by Tokota Boys, 100 gang, Malinso, Mbwambwambwas, Sons of the Devil and others.
Most of them were arrested and convicted but those who escaped the dragnet are slowly teaming up in various townships where they are terrorising residents.