Crime rate in Masvingo province went up by 13 percent in 2022, with the most prevalent crimes being murder, armed robberies involving firearms, stock theft as well as theft of copper cables.
This came out during the official opening of the 2023 legal year at Masvingo High Court by Supreme Court Judge Justice Rita Makarau on January 9.
Addressing guests at the event, Justice Makarau said a briefing she received from the officer Commanding Masvingo Province indicated that general crime had gone up by 13 percent from the previous year, which has a negative effect on social and economic development.
“Of immediate concern is that general crime in the province has gone up by 13percent from last year. The prevalent crimes in the province of Masvingo are murder, armed robberies involving firearms, stock theft and theft of copper cables.
“These prevalent offenses have the effect of retarding social and economic development in the province and effort must therefore be taken by all of us here present to play whatever roles we can as a community to reduce crime in the province of Masvingo,” Justice Makarau said.
She also commended both Masvingo High and Magistrates courts for completing most of the cases filed and received, leaving a relatively smaller number of cases yet to be completed.
“I am pleased to report that notwithstanding the increase in the number of cases filed with the courts, 2022 has been fairly congenial year for both the High Court and the Magistrates courts in Masvingo.
“The High Court performed well despite the fact that it was manned by only two instead of the usual three judges. A total of 2059 cases were filed with the Court during the course of the year. 58 cases were brought forward from 2021, making the grand total for the year 2117 cases. Out of these, 2094 cases were completed leaving only 23 cases that will be carried forward into 2023,” Makarau said.
A total of 7799 cases were also received in the magistrates courts in 2022, which saw the completion of 7795 cases, with 5572 cases completed in the civil division.
“I commend the magistrates for a very pleasing 2022,” she said.
Statistics from customary law courts were not documented.