BY STEPHEN CHADENGA
POLICE in the Midlands province have banned the carrying of machetes and other dangerous weapons to curb rising murder and robbery cases, the Southern Eye has established.
In recent years, the province has recorded an increase in the number of people killed or seriously injured, particularly during machete wars started by artisanal miners fighting for control of gold claims.
Acting provincial police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende said the two months ban would last until May.
“The prohibition order for Midlands province districts became effective on March 11 and would be in force until May 11, 2019,” Mukwende said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police in the Midlands province has of late witnessed a rise in violent cases that include murder, robberies that result in people being murdered and some violent demonstrations by misguided elements of society beginning January this year,” Mukwende said. “As such, the regulating authorities for Midlands police districts have with immediate effect issued some prohibition orders in their respective policing areas to thwart any potential use of dangerous weapons that are calculated at causing harm to the general public.”
She said during the period the public should not carry catapults, machetes, axes, knobkerries, swords, knives or daggers and any traditional weapon.
Early last year, judicial officers in the province called for stiffer and deterrent sentences, particularly against those who use machetes in violent crimes, following a spate of attacks in areas such as Kwekwe and Shurugwi.
“It is, therefore, disturbing to note that people no longer have respect for the sanctity of life. People are moving around armed with such weapons as firearms, knives, machetes and to some extent axes in a bid to instil fear in people and sometimes maiming their victims. We need that to stop with immediate effect,” Mukwende said.
She said police in the province would do everything in their power to make sure that such weapons were flushed out of the system for the safety of members of the public.