Zimbabwe: Councillor Calls for Stiffer Penalties for Machete Gangs

19 February 2019

Authorities in the legal fraternity should consider reviewing bail applications and conditions for criminals arrested for violence involving machetes.

The call was made by Chakari Ward 3 councillor Cde Naison Tinapi who lamented increases in violence involving machete-wielding gangs.

The gangs, who have become a menace in various parts of Mashonaland West, are mostly associated with illegal gold miners who are posing a serious threat to society.

"While bail is a constitutional right, we feel the law should be a bit harsher on machete wielding gangs as they endanger lives in society. Despite committing these heinous crimes they are always walking scot free while on bail," he said.

The gangs have terrorised communities in Chinhoyi, Kadoma, Chegutu, Namket and surrounding areas with the most recent such attacks leading to the death of a teacher in Chegutu.

However, Cde Tinape said empowering youths with life changing projects might also play a pivotal role in the fight against machete gangs.

Meanwhile, Chakari legislator Cde Andrew Nkani urged communities to report members of the gangs that attack people using machetes since they are well-known.

He said people can use ZRP suggestion boxes to report gang members who are on the prowl as villagers fear victimisation.

"Covering up for these criminal activities derails efforts by both Government and security forces to end the menace once and for all," he said.

Meanwhile, Cde Tinapo has appealed to Government to allow the community to build a secondary school in his ward.

"The ward which has more than 30 000 people and we have a severe shortage of schools. There is only one secondary school which inadequate to house learners from about 10 primary schools in the area.

"We are appealing for at least two more secondary schools to be constructed, so far we identified a land for construction of one school while awaiting Government approval," he said.

Cde Tinapo said parents were committed to constructing the school as the shortage of the learning facilities was leading to an increased number of school drop outs.

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