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Machete wielding gangs terrorize villagers in Zvishavane

02 Jul 2019 at 18:36hrs | Views
The 2008 violence that saw most rural Zimbabweans decapitated and maimed by Zanu-PF militia is being relieved in rural and urbanZvishavane and Shurugwi in the Midlands Province following a new wave of violence against the helpless rural villages of Zeruvi, Gudo and Mazvihwa communal areas in Zvishavane and Nhema in Shurugwi by machete wilding gangs who are raping, stealing and attacking them on a daily basis.

Sporadic attacks have also been experienced in Zvishavane urban, Shurugwi and some parts of Masvingo Province, where cellphones, cash and other valuables have reportedly been stolen. A midlands community radio Station YA FM has been reporting about the gang's attacks during the past two weeks and one of its reporters also fell victim to the gangs when she had her cellphone stolen at knife point.

The gangs suspected to be Zanu-PF Militia and the now regularized Makorokoza under the Military Junta Government of Emmerson Mnangagwa are moving from village to village demanding cellphones, food, money mainly targeting opposition party supporters and school teachers. Villagers say where the gangs fail to get anything they rape, inflict injury or burn down the homesteads.

The gangs who are also the makorokoza or illegal gold miners and now christened artisanal Miners by the military government move in groups of ten or more and breach no nonsense when they demand valuables. Village heads allegiant to the ruling Zanu-PF government have been spared the agony and are said to support the gangs and sometimes provide them with food stuffs.

"We are now living in fear some of our children especially the youths, some have fled to safe houses in town, they are the ones targeted. The aim of these hooligans is to instill fear so that we do not say anything. We are suffering there is no food, if aid comes it is only distributed on partisan basis," said Mrs Erina Moyo a villager in Mazvihwa communal area.

Opposition traditional leaders have also been attacked by the gangs and the Chinese miners who have been given huge mining claims to extract gold, chrome, emeralds and other minerals in the mineral rich Great Dyke.

Recently a chief Chivero was heavily assaulted by a Chinese business man after he demanded that the miner employ some members of his community. With the backing of the gangs the Chinese beat up the hapless chief and he was never arrested by the partisan police.

Opposition leaders have also expressed concern that the Chinese are working with the ruling party to instill fear on the villagers, hence the wanton attacks. The Chinese are also believed to be paying bribes in order for them to be granted mining claims as well as paying protection fees to the gangs.

So intense are the attacks that some teachers have fled their stations, while colleges like the Joshua Mqabuko Technical College in Gwanda has withdrawn some of its student teachers on teaching practice in the affected areas. The college is the sole supplier of student teachers in this part of the midlands Province.

The gangs have unleashed to instill fear to villagers and thwart any protests against the economic meltdown experienced in the country since November 2017 when Mnangagwa seized power from Robert Mugabe now seen by many as having had a firm grip on the runaway economy as opposed to his predecessor. Oppositionactivists, youth leaders and other ordinary villages have fled the village in fear of the gangs, some have been housed in
Bulawayo, Gweru and Harare.

The opposition MDC has threatened to call a crippling protest to force the military government either to relinquish power or to address the country's problems believed to be the worst in the last forty years since 2008 when the country first plunged into economic meltdown that saw inflation rising to over a global record of over a million percentage point.

However in all these instances no arrests have been made, confirming a well-orchestrated campaign to silence the opposition by the military government and its security agents including the police. Police referred all questions to their Police Headquarters in Harare and promised to investigate the matter.

For views and comments write to: makhoprecious@gmail.com

Makho Precious, I write my personal opinions as a free spirit standing for human rights and space in society

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