Chief Justice unveils special Courts for Mashurugwi

Chief Justice Luke Malaba

THE judiciary has established special courts to deal “decisively” with the notorious machete gangs known as Mashurugwi.

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.

“As we speak, the country is gripped by another spate of violence perpetrated by the so-called machete gangs,” Malaba said.

“The Judiciary acknowledges the work being undertaken by law enforcement agencies in bringing perpetrators of that wave of violence to book.

“May I assure the nation that the courts stand ready to decisively deal with those accused of these offences in accordance with the law.

“Special courts to specially try the cases have been set up in all affected areas across the country. I call upon all stakeholders in administration of justice to make concerted efforts to end this problem.”

Malaba added; “Institutions mandated to protect the citizens cannot sit back and watch a few rogue elements terrorise the entire nation for their selfish benefits.

“We hear stories of callous murders of ordinary Zimbabweans and law enforcement agents, citizens’ rights of freedom of movement, freedom to conduct their affairs without fear and freedom of association are being violated with impunity.

“Courts must demonstrate to the public they are possessed of real capacity to enforce the law and punish crime.”

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza officially opened the 2020 Legal Year at the Bulawayo High Court where she also implored stakeholders in the administration of justice to make concerted efforts to end the machete killings.

Gangs of artisanal miners are roaming gold mining communities injuring and killing people 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.

Recently, a Kadoma-based machete gang killed Constable Wonder Hokoyo at Good Hope Mine in Battlefields, Kadoma.

Last week, robbers pounced on a Chegutu family, gang-raping an 80-year-old woman and her 16 year-old relative before killing them. The gang also attacked and seriously injured three minor members of the family.