The infamous youth gangs which used to terrorise residents of Area 36 in Lilongwe will be fought to the last breath, Humane Consortium on Nature for Mankind (HCNM), a local non-governmental organisation, has said.
The assurance comes at a time when the country is recording high incidences of organised crime, burglary and daylight robbery which has not spared Area 36.
According to police, Area 36 was in bad records with over 18 gangs like Sekaunye, Pink Girls, Zikwanje Crew, Soft Boys, Bad Boys, and Madala Gurus.
“The formation of gangs in any society infringes on peoples’ rights as it contravenes chapter four of the Constitution, sections 18 and 19 on themes of human rights. All these barbaric acts are attributed to idleness that has come-about due to joblessness,” said Dickson Viweme Sumphi, HCNM youth and development officer.
Sumphi said the organisation plans to give the youth alternative activities to overcome joblessness.
“Youth will be given small businesses to earn a living, free computer lessons, sporting activities and religious interventions to contain the idleness,” he explained.
Senior Group Village Head (GVH) Kaondo said he was happy with the initiative.
“This area is known for problems of 11 Bongos Crew and the NGOs’ intervention has given people a sigh of relief. I am sure after teaching the youth, crime rate would considerably go down,” said GVH Kaondo.
He added; “We will wage a joint war against formation of gangs to stop crime in this area. We are tired of these deviant boys. If anybody is caught orchestrating violence, I will not be left with any option but surrendering them to police.”
The remarks were made on Sunday during a roundtable discussion between the organisation’s officials and group village heads at Senior GVH Kaondo ground in Area 36, where the two parties sealed an agreement to combat crime mostly perpetrated by the youth in the area.
In an interview with Mana, Lilongwe Police public relations officer, Kinsley Dandaula, said the joint efforts of the organisation and the local leaders had come at the right time and will help police to fight crime with ease.
“We want such kind of NGOs to come forward and join police in fighting crime.It is encouraging that local leaders have joined this initiative to help police, more so when some of these chiefs were previously shielding these gangsters,” said Dandaula.