A vigilante group called the “Scorpions” has unleashed a reign of terror in Nhwali village in Gwanda, Matabeleland South province, where it is accused of viciously assaulting villagers and leaving many injured.
The Scorpions are reported to have the backing and protection of Police Deputy Commissioner-General Learn Ncube, who reportedly comes from Zongwani village in the area.
The gang emerged in the last quarter of 2019 as a neighbourhood watch committees whose duty was to eradicate crime in the area but has since morphed into a terror group that is now imposing dusk to dawn curfew in the area.
Nhlanhla Moyo, one of the victims, was discharged from Gwanda District Hospital on Thursday. He said:
It all happened around 9 pm when I was on my way home. I was accosted by the thugs, who accused me of not heeding to their curfew.
I was made to roll on the ground as they whipped me with a sjambok all over the body after which they used a hammer to break my leg.
Ncube however, professed ignorance about the Scorpions and referred the Southern Eye reporter to Matabeleland South provincial police. He said:
I am not aware of such cases, probably we also have a provincial spokesperson and officer commanding province, you can find out if they received such reports or you can still check with national spokesperson Assistant Commission (Paul) Nyathi.
What I know are cases of stock theft which happen there.
… as for the Scorpions you are asking about, I do not know anything about them.