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The genesis of machete gangs

17 Jan 2020 at 15:02hrs | Views
Violence in the informal mining sector began in the late 1990's. It began its journey in the Midlands with battles in which fists, stones and catapults were used by miners such as Bule Vampire in Zhombe, the notorious Masendekes who attained national notoriety for their daring escapades as they ran a vicious gang that worked  at Moonbeam Mine.
As the years progressed into the early to mid 2000's it evolved into the use of knobkerries, small axes and knives.

Machetes were first used by Artisanal mininers in Shurugwi to counter small axes and knives during the first invasion of Gaika in the early 2000's, those confrontations led Kwekwe gangs to move to Moonbeam mine.

More recently Gaika mine was raided under the direction of political giants and machete violence became a daily occurrence in Kwekwe between Likwa, Enerst Masendeke, the Maketo gang the Anacondas and other rival gangs.
All the above were and are under the wing of the above mentioned politicians and their minions or go-betweens, hence police were dis-empowered, It is noteworthy and instructive to note that violence spread more pronouncedly countrywide after the closure of Gaika.

Political interference has, by a large extent, hindered the police in executing their mandate. In the Standard of April 2019, police in Midlands, "... openly admitted their helplessness- and fear too- as they implicitly blamed ruling Zanupf politicians who have become the godfathers of most of the militia".

Furthermore, the provincial police spokesperson, Joel Goko said; "I am not at liberty to comment on those issues (gang violence) due to their political nature".
So it goes without saying that the above politicians are largely behind the proliferation of these gangs.

Machete violence has followed the gold and diamond boom and graves mark their presence in Chiadzwa, Zenda, Kwekwe, Shurugwi, Chinhoyi, Kadoma, Filabusi and anywhere they suspect minerals.

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Source - Tarisai Mudahondo
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