By Sydney Mubaiwa
Traditional leaders in Zaka have expressed concern over the sharp increase in murder cases. This comes amid reports that at least four people were murdered across Zaka district monthly, particularly at beer drinking spots.
The traditional leaders expressed concern that in most cases drunk villagers were killing each other over petty issues, a situation they said needed to be nipped in the bud.
Addressing villagers at Jerera Growth, Chief Nhema, Mr Rangarirai Bwanyanya, urged the people of Zaka to respect the sanctity of life and find better ways of resolving their differences.
“As traditional leaders, we have noted a disturbing trend where villagers are killing each other in cold blood over petty issues.
“People should learn to resolve disputes peacefully and avoid taking other people’s lives,” he said.
Chief Nhema said besides causing pain and trauma among relatives of the slain victims, the spike in murder cases in Zaka was slowly creating a generation of orphans in the district.
He urged villagers to always involve traditional leaders or the police for peaceful resolution of disputes.
Of concern to the traditional leaders was that most of the fatal fights were taking place during traditional beer-drinking gatherings.
Chief Nhema warned villagers who sell the home-made brew to apply for operating licences or risk prosecution.
“The Traditional Beer Act Chapter 14:24 mandates that everyone who brews beer should have an operating licence. We are receiving messages that most of the murder cases happen due to misunderstandings during beer drinking,” he said.
Chief Nhema also warned villagers to refrain from political violence as the country braces for harmonised elections.
“As we are approaching general elections, we should guard against violence. President Mnangagwa has made it clear that violence will not be condoned and the country wants to hold polls that are free, fair and credible.
“We are calling on the public to exercise restraint in the face of disputes particularly those that involve people from different political persuasions,” said Chief Nhema.
Zaka has over the past few years recorded the highest number of murder cases in Masvingo province prompting the police and traditional leaders to embark on various anti-murder campaigns in the populous district.
Recently, a Zaka man murdered his friend in cold blood after allegedly finding him in a compromising position with his wife.