POLICE in Kwekwe have banned the carrying of machetes and other traditional weapons in public places in a move meant to rein in notorious hit squads that have been a menace in the gold-rich city.
By Brenna Matendere
Officer commanding Kwekwe district, Chief Superintendent Conrad Mubaiwa issued a prohibition order against the weapons in terms of section 14 (1) of the Public Order and Security Act Chapter 11:17.
The prohibition order covers weapons such as catapults, machetes, axes, knobkerries, swords, knives, spears and daggers and is effective for the next three months.
Mubaiwa cited a surge in criminal activities by people wielding the weapons as the cause of the order.
“The reason for the prohibition order follows an upsurge in crimes such as murder, armed robbery, assaults, domestic violence, malicious damage to property and unlawful entry and theft in Kwekwe district,” he said.
Machete-wielding gangs operating under the moniker Al-Shabaab, Anaconda or MaShurugwi have lately become a menace in Kwekwe where they have been accused of killing rivals and innocent people while also robbing unsuspecting people of their money and belongings.
The gangs have been linked to senior Zanu PF officials who allegedly shield them from arrest and prosecution over the crimes while benefiting from the gold they amass from surrounding mines.