The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) announced on Tuesday that a further 369 people have been arrested since the beginning of the year for using machetes to commit crimes.
Deputy national police spokesperson Blessmore Chishaka said that since police launched two operations targeting the illegal gold panners and robbers early this year, many machete gangs have been destroyed. He said:
Under the operation ‘No to anarchy by artisanal miners’ we have arrested 248 suspects, while 121 people have also been nabbed under the operation ‘No to dangerous weapons’ — bringing the total to 369.
… as police, we arrest and hand the suspects over to the courts for trial and we do not interfere with the judicial decisions.
The MaShurugwi menace has threatened to spiral out of control in 2019, with the gangs going as far as attacking police officers.
A police officer was murdered on 28 December last year while a police post in Gokwe Nembudziya was almost overrun by the MaShurugwi gangs.