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Robberies, thefts and house breaks is a fact of daily life for the residents of Malanga neighbourhood in the Mozambican capital. Almost all residents on Conjunto Djambo (formerly Major Couto) Street have a story to tell about thieves – house and street robberies occur day and night.
Edna Manuel said she was robbed on the street by two men armed with knives as she returned from her mother’s tuckshop. Edna says she gave the individuals two meticais, but on getting the money the pair pulled out a knife and said they were robbing her.
“I got scared. I said ‘What are you doing?’ and one of the robbers said ‘Give me your phone.’ I handed it over and then he asked me what was in my bag. I said I had nothing more but he took it, shook it out and took everything from me. I had money – I’d just come from my mother’s barraca,” Edna relates.
Neighbourhood residents think the wave of robberies is driven by the Malanga market, which currently houses many of the vendors previously selling on the side of Avenida 24 de Julho, who were removed because of the Maputo-Katembe bridge.
Residents claim the market is home to people of dubious character. Insecurity tends to spread and has reached nearby homes, with no escape. According to residents, burglars enter homes in broad daylight and steal gas cylinders, televisions, money, jewellery and other goods.
A resident who declined to reveal her identity told ‘O País’ that her arm was broken when thieves entered her home.
Even neighbourhood authority figures haven’t escaped. The head of block was robbed in his own home. “I have had this situation too, I am no exception. My car was broken into and the battery stolen. We have all tried to come together to find a solution.”
The neighbourhood sports a newly refurbished Malanga police station, but residents say its presence offers them little or no protection.
Meanwhile, police in Maputo City contacted by ‘O País’ had promised to address the case as early as last Monday.
By Amândio BorgesSource: O País