The affected areas are mostly bus terminuses in the city centre and streets leading out of the CBD into suburbs like Mkoba, Daylseford and Athlone.
“There are no street lights at Wimpy, TM and Kudzanai Bus Terminus. Most people are losing their valuables such as cell phones and cash to thieves because of the darkness. To worsen the situation, there are no police officers patrolling the dark spots,” said a security guard, Mr Toendepi Zhou.
A local businessman said lack of streetlights increased the crime rate in the CBD.
“Some of us are living in fear as we are afraid of losing our valuables to robbers who might take advantage of the darkness to break into our shops. This issue should be addressed before we fall victim to night thieves,” he said.
Areas like Mkoba, Mtapa and parts of Senga are in semi-darkness most of the time owing to few operational tower lights.Gweru Urban Residents’ Association (Gura) chairperson Mr Wilbert Muringani said it was not important to have streetlights in the city centre when there were no tower lights in the western suburbs like Mkoba and Ascot.
Mr Muringani said there were more police patrols within the city centre compared to the high density suburbs where the majority of people resided.
“We cannot compare the city centre and the western suburbs when it comes to security as there are more patrols in the city centre at night compared to the suburbs where there are few police stations or none at all.
“The council must first install tower lights in suburbs before attending to the city centre,” he said.
Contacted for comment, the mayor Councillor Tedius Chimombe said the council had started installing tower lights in some parts of Mkoba and Mambo and would very soon attend to the city centre’s street lights.
“We are aware of the problem and with resources permitting we should address it as soon as possible,” he said.
Clr Chimombe appealed to members of the public to stop vandalising street lights.The council said in the past that the challenge of street lights was partly caused by would-be muggers who would deliberately vandalise the lights so that they could terrorise residents without being dictated.
Residents of Mkoba 4 and 5 said last October that they were losing property and cash to muggers because of lack of electricity in their homes and street lights.