Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
POLICE in the Midlands province have banned the carrying of dangerous weapons for the next three months.
Acting Midlands provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende said: “Yes there is a prohibition order to that effect and we have even gone as far as placing advertisements in The Chronicle to that effect. Carrying of dangerous weapons is prohibited in three districts namely Zvishavane, Gokwe and Kwekwe.”
Two weeks ago, Midlands Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Cde Jason Machaya told a Zanu-PF Provincial Coordinating Committee meeting that the province tops the list when it comes to violent murders using dangerous weapons especially machetes.
“I must inform the leadership that it has come to the attention of Government that Midlands is topping the list of violent murders using machetes. Over a dozen people have lost their lives and many have been seriously injured,” he said.
“Kwekwe, Zvishavane and Gokwe have been singled out. Illegal gold mining is the major cause of the violence. Some politicians are being accused as being the ringleaders of the violence and beneficiaries of the process. As a province, we must seriously address the issue.”
Recently, police held an outreach programme at Amaveni Shopping Centre in Kwekwe — the hotspot of the killings — in a bid to stop the violence.
Addressing residents, the Officer Commanding Midlands Province, Senior Assistant Commissioner Abigail Moyo, said they were concerned about the high number of cases of violence involving the use of machetes.
“Of these cases, at least 10 people have been murdered, 30 injured including three police officers and 10 displaced. To date we have arrested around 20 suspects,” she said.
Snr Asst Com Moyo said it was a crime for members of the public and especially gold panners to carry machetes or dangerous weapons.
Bans on the carrying of dangerous weapons have also been effected in Harare, Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South provinces.