By Albert Nxumalo
In a bid to counter the notorious machete welding gangs that are currently wreaking havoc especially in the Midlands, opposition Movement for Democratic Change youth wing has announced the setting up of what it calls Community Resistance Committees in all districts.
The mandate of the resistance groups is to “protect citizens from attacks by Mashurugwi terror gangs”.
That could be as early as next week, that’s according to Stephen Sarkozy Chuma MDC Youth Assembly National Spokesperson.
In recent weeks, gangs of artisanal miners known as MaShurugwi are roaming gold mining communities injuring and killing people and robbing churches using machetes before stealing gold, cash and other valuables.
According to the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) October 2019 report, 105 murders and 221 cases of assaults were reported in Zimbabwe’s gold mining areas, with no meaningful arrests made for the heinous crimes.
In a statement seen by CITE, MDC youth say it is concerned at the increase in gross human rights violations perpetrated by the gangs.
“What is glaringly visible is that ZANU PF bigwigs, state security agents and machete gangs are working in cahoots to instil fear through terror on restive citizenry who have become impatient with Emmerson Mnangagwa’s corrupt regime,” said Chuma.
He added, “As such, the Assembly will from next week set up Community Resistance Committees across all districts whose prime mandate is to protect citizens from attacks by MaShurugwi terror gangs”.
Last month, Ziyambi Ziyambi, the Justice Minister, issued a chilling warning that the Mnangagwa administration was contemplating giving the police shoot-to-kill powers and denying bail to those arrested, as a way to bring the menace under control.
Chuma maintained that it is “our duty to make sure that our parents, brothers and sisters are safe from attacks by these ZANU PF thugs.
“The state, government and those controlling levers of state power have abdicated from their duty to protect citizens, hence we are taking the responsibility to save and protect our people from this ZANU PF sponsored genocide”.
The judiciary has since established special courts to deal “decisively” with the machete gangs.
Officially opening the 2020 Legal Year at the Constitutional Court in Harare Monday, Chief Justice Luke Malaba said the terror gangs could create anarchy if they were not quickly neutralised.