CHIEF Justice, Luke Malaba, has said notorious machete wielding criminals commonly referred to as Mashurugwi will be decisively dealt with in accordance with the law.
Officially opening the 2020 legal year at the Constitutional Court in the capital Monday, Malaba said harsher prison sentencing will be a more fitting punishment that will keep communities safe from the criminals. Malaba said special courts have been set up in affected areas to deal with these cases.
“The country is gripped by another spate of violence perpetrated by the so called machete gangs,” Malaba said.
“The judiciary acknowledges the work being undertaken by the law enforcement agencies in bringing perpetrators of that wave to book. May I assure the nation that the courts will decisively deal with the accused of these offences in accordance with the law.”
He added: “We hear stories of callous murders of ordinary Zimbabweans and law enforcements agents. Citizens’ rights of freedom of movement, freedom to conduct their affairs without fear and freedom of associations are being violated with impunity by the gangsters.
The organised terror groups have the potential to create anarchy if they are not quickly neutralised. Courts must demonstrate to the public that they are possessed of real capacity to enforce the law and punish crime.”
Malaba called all on stakeholders in the administration of justice to make concerted efforts to end this problem of machete gangs.
“Institutions mandated to protect the citizens cannot sit back and watch a few rogue elements terrorise the entire nation for their selfish benefits,” he said.
In the past months the country has been experiencing an increase in the incidences of gangs of people wielding machetes and attacking people mainly in the mining communities. Last week, a team of Mashurugwi gang-raped an 80-year-old Chegutu granny and her 16-year old relative.