By Sibusiso Ncube
Kadoma Central legislator Muchineripi Chinyanganya says some top officials in Zanu PF are behind the machete-wielding gangs (mashurugwi) who are terrorising artisanal miners around the country.
Currently, the effects of the machete-wielding gangs have been felt in such areas as Shurugwi, Kadoma, Kwekwe and some parts of Matabeleland.
In an interview, Honourable Chinyanganya said the issue of machete-wielding gangs has resulted in the loss of many lives in Kadoma and surrounding areas and believes some leading Zanu PF members offer them protection.
“The issue of machete gangs terrorizing residents is a challenge. I am glad the police are now taking action but it’s a bit late now because lives have been lost.
“We raised the issue in 2018 but nothing was being done and I am sure senior politicians from the ruling party are behind those gangs.
“I say so because some of them boast that they are protected. It’s now a national issue and I don’t think it’s going to end soon for as long as they are protected,” he said.
The machete-wielding gangs have arguably become the country’s most feared, dangerous and brutal terror squads that go around killing, injuring and sexually abusing people at free will, causing mining towns and other places unsafe.
Besides terrorising fellow miners the gangs have extended their criminal activities to robbing people at night and also targeting money changers and businessmen who keep large sums of money at home.
Chinyanganya’s constituency is among the hot spot for these criminal practices.
Police have so far arrested about nine suspects who have been identified as Tonderai Musasa (18), Richwell Tshuma (26), Bornlight Mukute (20), Paul Demo (27), Taurai Munetsi (31), Munyaradzi Chari (43), Lyton Tshuma (18) and Obvious Mawire (21).
One of the suspects arrested is believed to a minor aged 14 years old years.