By Own Correspondent
Cases of human rights violations at the hands of machete terror gangs have significantly dropped by over 20%, the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) has revealed.
The terror groups commonly referred to as ‘Mashurugwi’ seek to gain control of gold claims are wreaking havoc in mineral rich areas, killing and maiming locals.
To date hundreds have been killed while an even large number were left maimed by the machete wielding gangs.
In January machete gang violation cases stood at 22.2% but in February 1.5% was recorded.
According to the ZPP February 2020 monthly monitoring report a remarkable number of the machete terror gang members have gone underground since police introduced operation Chikorokoza Ngachipere / No To Machete Gangs.
“There was a significant drop in cases involving the Machete wielding gangs. This can be attributed to the response by the police in dealing with the gangs. They contributed 1.5% of the perpetrators in the month under review down from 22.2% recorded in January.
There were fewer incidences of human rights violations by the machete wielding gangs after the security sector conducted operations to deal with the menace. In Penhalonga, Manicaland province, security agents conducted an operation termed “chikorokoza chapera” (the end of artisanal mining) which however resulted in some innocent citizens being caught in the melee.”
While the cases have decreased in most areas there are still communities where they are targeting women.
A recent incident is that in which a woman was killed by her machete wielding lover in Chinhoyi.
“The machete gangs are still terrorising communities. In Chakari, smaller but cunning terror groups have sprouted under the name “zvikuturu” (puppies) and they target women and vendors.
“In Kwekwe there have been reports that rival gangs sometimes clash at Kwekwe Hospital thereby causing panic, fear and despondency among staff and patients.
“In Chinhoyi a woman was murdered by her boyfriend who is a member of a machete wielding gang,” read part of the report.
Thousands of machete terror gangs were nabbed by the police following the establishment of operation Chikorokoza Ngachipere.
The Judicial Service Commission also set up special courts to deal with cases involving machete gangs while parliament had set up a commission to look into their operations and possibly identify their ‘godfathers’.