Police have issued a ban on carrying of weapons or dangerous objects amid robbers riding on instilling fear with machetes and knives in the wake of terror gangs known as Mashurugwi.
The prohibition comes in the wake of a spate of robbery cases reported country wide as robbers have resorted to using weapons of the infamous Mashurugwi gang such as machetes, knives and daggers as tactics to instil fear on victims.
Mashonaland East Provincial spokesperson Inspector Tendai Mwanza issued a statement ordering some police districts to thwart any potential use of dangerous weapons that are calculated at causing harm and despondency to the public.
“The prohibition orders are prohibiting the carrying in public whether openly or by concealment in a public place or public thoroughfare or public display of any of the following weapons:
Catapults, machetes, axes, knobkerries, swords, knives or daggers,
Any traditional weapon whatsoever is likely to occasion public disorder or a breach of the peace,” he said.
Part of the statement reads as follows:
“Zimbabwe Republic Police, Mashonaland East Province has of late witnessed a rise in violent cases that include armed robbery, Murder, Assault and some related cases.
“During the period spanning from January to December 2019, the Province received a total of 498 cases compared to 375 cases during the same period in 2018.
“Murder cases were 51 in 2018 compared to 54 in 2019.
“Both these violent crimes had a marginal increase which is a cause for concern to the Police.
“It is therefore disturbing to note that armed robbers are moving in gangs and armed with such weapons as firearms, knives, machetes and to some extent axes in a bid to instil fear and sometimes maiming their victims.
“Several people have become victims of robbery cases and a lot of cash and other valuable property stolen.
“In this regard, Police will not take any chances but we are taking drastic measures against all malcontents who perpetuate such heinous crimes.
“It is our constitutional mandate to safeguard people’s lives and property and as such the Police have invoked section 4(1) of the Maintenance of Peace and Order ACT Chapter 11:23.
“Subsequently, the respective regulating authorities for Marondera, Murewa and Chivhu Police Districts have with immediate effect issued some prohibition orders in their respective policing areas to thwart any potential use of dangerous weapons that are calculated at causing harm and despondency to the general public.
“Such prohibition orders will run from 14 January to 12 April 2020 for Marondera District, Murewa District from 6 January to 6 April 2020 while for Chivhu District it will run from 14 January to 13 April 2020.
“For the avoidance of doubt, it is declared that in terms of section 4(4) of the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act (Chapter 11:23), any person failing to comply with such a prohibition made under sub section (1) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level five or imprisonment for six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.”
Meanwhile, Chiredzi District Officer Commanding Police Simangaliso Dube issued a notice in Chiredzi, Triangle, Mkwasine, Chikombedzi and Ndali policing areas prohibiting the possession of weapons.
“No person shall carry or display in a public place whether openly or by concealment, that is, catapults, machetes, axes, knobkerries, swords, knives or daggers.
“Any person found in possession of such weapons shall be guilty of an offence,” said OCP Dube.