By Leopold Munhende
VICE President Constantino Chiwenga has warned machete wielding gangs that the government will take stern action against them.
It is rare for a high ranking Zimbabwe government official to publicly denounce the machete armed gangs that are terrorising villagers in parts of the country through committing rape, killings, robbery and other forms of serious crime.
The VP was addressing thousands of congregants gathered for the National Day of Prayer at the National Sports Stadium organised by the Zimbabwe Indigenous Interdenominational Council of Churches (ZIICC).
“With such gatherings we are assured of a future in which people can freely worship and carry out their day to day business with a sense of belonging and security while government takes stern measures against those that disturb peace, security and the conduct of business such as those machete wielding gangsters and robbers who have emerged,” said Chiwenga.
Before his speech, various church leaders including the chaplain-general of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Colonel Joseph Nyakudya had raised alarm over the rise in machete attacks on citizens across the country while little action was being done by the police to arrest the perpetrators.
Nyakudya added his voice in a prayer.
“We pray for the police in this war which has arisen of people who are going around with machetes and knives, we say give them reason and all who want to destroy the economy of this country,” said Nyakudya.
However, President Mnangagwa who was the guest of honour at the event maintained his silence on the issue despite calls for him, as the head of state, to take decisive action against the terror gangs.
Mnangagwa, instead, chose to focus on the aid churches gave to victims of Cyclone Idai last year and how prayers save Zimbabwe’s economy.
The president has been accused by the main opposition party, the MDC of being the ‘Godfather’ of the Mashurugwi.
Last Thursday, outspoken Norton legislator Temba Mliswa challenged State Security Minister Owen Ncube to disassociate himself and the president from the armed gangs as their silence was doing harm to the country.
“It is the duty of the State Security Minister to defend the image of the president, he (Ncube) has been fingered and so has the president.
“Ncube should come out and challenge whoever has any evidence and clear himself and the president,” said Mliswa.