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Zhombe machete attacks continue despite arrests

MACHETE wars and revenge killings have resurfaced in Zhombe and some parts of Silobela, with rival gangs involved in running battles.

Rival gangs attack each other over gold panning and other petty issues.

Police quelled the violence a few months ago after arresting a number of gang members.

Violence has, however, flared up in recent weeks and police arrested an eight-member gang that fatally attacked a rival member with machetes at Bob’s Business Centre.

The man’s body was left lying in a pool of blood with protruding intestines after he was chopped up in a case involving gold.

A man from Sessombe is lucky to be alive after he was stabbed with a spear in another clash involving two rival gangs.

A video of the man with a spear in his abdomen went viral on social platforms and nine gang members that attacked him were arrested and released on $5 000 bail each.

In a bid to restore sanity, police in Midlands recently banned possession of weapons such as machetes, spears, knives, catapults, knobkerries and daggers, among other dangerous weapons.

Midlands provincial police spokesperson Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko said police have been deployed to areas where gold panning is rampant to keep the peace.

“I can confirm there were some arrests made in Zhombe and those notorious people who were giving people a torrid time were nabbed. I should hasten, however, to say the cases have become so worrying in the province. We have intensified police presence in these areas and we have also intensified police patrols and conducting stop and searches,” said Inspector Mahoko.

The criminal activities of the marauding machete gangs have also resulted in a spike in robbery, murder, rape, assault, housebreaking and stock theft cases.
Zhombe Chief Weight Gwesela said the cases were now worrying, but he was ready to banish anyone involved in these murderous activities.

“The cases have resurfaced and are very worrying. Recently a person was murdered in full view of the public by a marauding gang. This is so disturbing,” said Chief Gwesela.

“I have since warned my subjects that anyone who kills anyone will be removed from the area. I will not hesitate to banish the person and members of his family. We do not condone such kind of behaviour,” he said.

He said the judiciary should consider handing down heavy sentences to people arrested for murder or violence.

“What is worrying also is that when one is arrested, two days later, he will be back in the community causing more havoc. I, therefore, encourage the judiciary to seriously consider denying bail to such malcontents and give them heavy sentences when convicted,” said Chief Gwesela.

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