By Blessings Chidakwa
Police in Chegutu have arrested a five- member gang that has been terrorising people in the town and recovered several dangerous weapons.
The five are Prince Chinenyanga (27), Nyamadzawo Davis (21), Munyaradzi Mabika (23), James Mhondiwa (17) and Tapiwa Chiwara (21).
They were found in possession of various weapons such as machetes and a bayonet.
They recently appeared before Chegutu magistrate Mrs Judith Taruvinga, who sentenced them to six months in jail each without the option of a fine.
Mrs Taruvinga initially sentenced them to nine months in jail each before suspending three months from each sentence on condition that they did not commit a similar offence within the next five years.
The State successfully argued that on the afternoon of January 21 this year police details manning a security roadblock along the Harare-Bulawayo Highway arrested the gang for dealing in or possessing prohibited weapons.
A police intelligence operative only identified as Constable Mugwagwa conducted a systematic search of the vehicle and discovered two machetes, one FN rifle bayonet, hammer and screwdriver.
Police arrested the gang and impounded their vehicle.
Police recently enforced a ban on dangerous weapons which was effected on January 19 and will be in force for the next three months, aimed at curbing incidents of public violence perpetrated by machete-wielding gangs in the area.
It was imposed by ZRP Officer Commanding Chegutu District Chief Superintendent Tambudzai Mazambani in a statement that read: “In terms of Section 14 (1) of the Public Order and Security Act (Chapter 11:17), I believe on reasonable grounds that, the carrying in public whether openly or by concealment in a public place or public thoroughfare or public display of any of the following weapons or items capable of use as weapons.”
The ban covered the carrying of catapults, machetes, axes, knobkerries, swords, knives or daggers and any traditional weapons.
Chief Supt Mazambani said the weapons were likely to be used in perpetrating public disorder or a breach of the peace hence prohibiting the carrying of such weapons in Chegutu district.
He said anyone who failed to comply with the order would be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level five or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both the fine and imprisonment.
Chegutu district policing area is demarcated by the 30km peg along Chegutu-Chinhoyi Road and shares a boundary with Makonde District to the north, stretching from Ward 20, 22 and part of Ward 21 of Chegutu Rural District Council (Musengezi resettlement area to Wicklow Farm).
“To the east it shares a boundary with Manyame district, stretching from part of Ward 21 and Wards 26, 28, 29 of Chegutu RDC (Exwick Farm to Rutara resettlements) while to the south-east it borders Chivhu District, stretching from Wards 1-10 under Mhondoro-Ngezi RDC (Khadhani to Manyoni),” said Chief Supt Mazambani.
To the south it shared a boundary with Kadoma District, stretching from Wards 24 and 25 under Chegutu RDC (Jason Moyo Airbase to Pickstone), to the west it bordered Kadoma District stretching from Ward 23 under Chegutu RDC and Wards 2, 3, 4 and 7 under Sanyati RDC (Shangwe, Rondo Farm to Chegutu Six Game Park.
The policing area also covers Chegutu CBD, Hintonville and Rifle Range low-density suburbs, Chegutu industrial area and the high-density suburbs of Pfupajena, Umvovo, Kaguvi Phases 1-4, Heroes Section and ZMDC. The Herald