POLICE in Harare have raised alarm over sharply rising cases of domestic violence blaming sanctions for the escalating scourge.
Addressing thousands of Epworth residents at a community policing campaign programme last weekend, Clemence Munoriarwa, officer commanding Harare, said “innocent children” are suffering due to domestic violence.
He said five cases of domestic violence were recorded daily in the capital.
Munoriarwa said statistics recorded by police last year are so worrying that if couples do not keep the peace in their homes, children will suffer due to divorces and deaths that occur as a result of domestic violence.
According to the police commander, over 3 000 cases of domestic violence were reported to the police last year up from 2 438 cases of 2011.
“Please stop it,” Munoriarwa said. “It is destroying our families. Children are suffering because of domestic violence. You are also burdening the police with more work at the same time destroying the cultural fibre in our society.”
Harare police is on a drive to engage the public to stem the high crimes rates.
“In 2012 we recorded 93 000 cases and as police we are worried about the situation. We want you as members of the public to assist,” said Harare’s top cop.
“We don’t want violence of any nature in Harare; please help us have a crime-free Harare.”
Munoriarwa said sanctions were contributing to domestic violence which was consequently wrecking families.
“Sanctions and other economic ills that affected our country have contributed to domestic violence and prostitution,” he said.
“Companies have been closed due to sanctions forcing mothers and fathers to fight at home due to lack of money. Our children have resorted to prostitution because there is no employment.”
Turning to watershed elections set for this year, the police boss said the 2008 gory violence should not be entertained as it brings social ills and hinders community development.
During the 2008 elections over 200 people were killed in post-election violence, with property worth millions of dollars destroyed.
“We don’t want a repeat of 2008, let us vote peacefully in the coming election,” Munoriarwa said.