Hwende distances himself from Mashurugwi violence

MDC secretary general Chalton Hwende has scoffed at claims by suspected Zanu PF sympathisers he was the brains behind the notorious machete wielding terror groups derisively known as ‘MaShurugwi’.

Hwende said the claims were being circulated by State security agents who wanted to kill him on trumped-up charges that he was sponsoring the dreaded gangs.

The armed groups are causing untold suffering in gold mining areas, killing, robbing gold and cash from miners.

“I am aware the system wants to eliminate me and are now using their agents to try and link me to this murderous group as a way of getting me arrested and shifting blame to the MDC in order for them to ban the party,” Hwende told NewZimbabwe.com in an interview Saturday.

He instead, claimed the people behind the terror were known senior Zanu PF officials and the only way to stop the carnage left behind by the armed thugs was for the ruling party to make a strong commitment and distance itself from the terror groups.

Social media activists going by the name Varakashi have been making repeated claims that Hwende organised training for the groups on terror tactics from Srdja Popovic, a Serbian national.

“Hwende is the key to the project and reports directly to (Nelson) Chamisa who is excited about the new initiative,” one Effort Makusha posted on social media platforms.

Last week, a police officer, Wonder Hokoyo was hacked to death at Good Hope Mine in Battlefields, Kadoma while safeguarding the site from marauding artisanal miners.

On Wednesday, a gold buyer, Marko Dube, was also murdered by three machete wielding men in Mvuma. They also robbed US$700 from him.