The mushrooming of brothels and shebeens in Gwanda’s residential suburbs has been strongly condemned by community leaders saying this has resulted in the increase in criminal activities in the gold mining town.

In 2007 the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority shut down unlicensed hotels and lodges in Gwanda that had also become a haven for commercial sex workers.

While some residents welcomed the move saying it would help curb prostitution which had become rife in the town others decided to accommodate the ladies of the night in their homes fuelling the rise in brothels.

The community that is also concerned about the mushrooming of shebeens confronted the operators and urged them to shut down their illegal businesses.

The move follows the recent murder of a gold panner Alifao Musanka who was stabbed to death during a fight over a commercial sex worker in Phakama recently.

Some residents complained that there was low visibility of police at night, while others expressed concern that a number of murder cases that have occurred in the town have remained unsolved.

The police appealed to the community to come up with neighbourhood watch committees to compliment their efforts as they are currently short staffed.

Police say the biggest challenge for Gwanda is that there are many nomadic gold panners who come and go with landlords in most cases guilty of accommodating people whose personal details they don’t know, making it difficult to arrest perpetrators of crimes.

Meanwhile, police have since launched a manhunt for two other people only known as Osama boys who are believed to have been involved in the murder of Musanka.

One person was arrested in connection with the murder.