By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
Minister of State for National Security in the President’s Office, Owen Ncube has said that one machete gang is still to be accounted for as all the others have been arrested across the country.
Police has launched an operation targeting Mashurugwi (machete gangs), after an increase in cases of marauding gangs attacking and robbing people using machetes in the country.
Last month Ncube was challenged by Norton legislator Temba Mliswa to come out in public and set the record straight concerning reports that he was behind the machete gangsters.
Mliswa had also urged the military to step in and resolve the machete wars.
“Machete wars have now gone out of hand and the police are struggling to contain the menace.
“However, we have a mighty military force in the country. The generals of the army are also very intelligent. They don’t go to war and use that time to study. So they can actually strategise and deal with this machete gangster problem.
“Section 251 (of the Constitution) gives the army the mandate to carry out such an operation of flushing out machete gangsters. The army conducted Operation Restore Legacy which removed the late President Robert Mugabe from power. So it means the army is powerful and can manage to deal with the problem of machete gangsters,” said Mliswa last month.
Asked by Senator Bekithemba Mpofu in the Senate last week, what his ministry was doing about the machete-wielding gangs, minister Ncube said the issue was being dealt with.
“I would like to thank the Hon Member for asking such a pertinent question. The issue of MaShurugwi has been dealt with.
“I think we are only left to account for one group. All the other groups have been arrested. They have appeared in court and some of them have been sentenced. I thank you,” said Minister Ncube.
Meanwhile, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Deputy Minister Michael Madiro told Parliament last week that at least 35 people were killed and 15 women were raped in the last 13 months and total of 382 people were assaulted and 225 robberies were recorded during the same period by the machete-wielding gangs.
Madiro said a National Task Force led by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Support Unit has since been set up, targeting one province at a time.
“Throughout the country, from January 2019 to date, a total of 35 murders, 225 robberies, 382 assaults and 15 rape cases were committed by machete-wielding gangsters.
“However, there are numerous ongoing measures in all the provinces aimed at containing violent crimes perpetrated by artisanal miners,” Madiro added. Nehanda Radio