Police have vowed to deal decisively with machete gangs who are masquerading as gold panners while unleashing a reign of terror across the country.
Speaking during a tour of Gweru Central Police Station by Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe on Friday, Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga said police will not stand akimbo while the terror groups create war zones in the country. He said:
Without mincing my words, I am disgusted by the violent nature of machete-wielding criminals who are threatening to turn our country into an unsafe and uninhabitable place.
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Over the past few weeks, cases of these criminal elements masquerading as gold panners have been on the increase. Consequently, we have recorded a surge in cases of murder, rape, armed robbery, among other illicit activities.
Apart from terrorising communities day and night, these hooligans are also invading legal mining claims killing many, including taking the lives of police officers.
Meanwhile, police have, for the next three months, prohibited the carrying of weapons by members of the public.
This comes as police officers confiscated 31 machetes and arrested seven people in Mbare, Harare, who are suspected of manufacturing and selling the weapons.