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Govt, Zanu PF spokespersons sneer at Mashurugwi link claims

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By Thandiwe Garusa

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu PF spokespersons have sneered at continued claims the ruling party had a hand in fierce machete wars by gangs in parts of the country’s mining areas.

Machete gangs are derisively referred to by Zimbabweans as MaShurugwi, taking from the Midlands mining town of Shurugwi, seen as the epicentre of the much condemned terror activities.

Former Zanu PF top politicians Jonathan Moyo and Dickson Mafios have fingered Mnangagwa and state security minister Owen Ncube as being the godfathers of the savage gangs that have been having ugly machete clashes over mining claims.

Moyo and Mafios have been joined in the accusations by MDC leader Nelson Chamisa who told his followers recently that Mnangagwa’s apparent lack of enthusiasm to take decisive action on the criminal gangs were signs he had hidden interests in illegal miners’ activities.

The machete violence has, in the past few months, since been directed at innocent villagers and gold buyers who have lost cash through robberies.

However, reached for comment, presidential spokesperson George Charamba took a somewhat stuck-up response to claims his boss sponsored the violent gangs.

“Those are just allegations. They will remain allegations and you are actually making my job much easier because this is beneath my comment, and I also treat these questions with contempt. So I have no comment to that,” Charamba said.

Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya-Moyo did not sound any different when asked to respond to claims the ruling party knew better about MaShurugwi.

“A number of machete wielding gangs have been arrested so far. So, I think it is easy to find out from the police whether they are Zanu PF or not,” said Moyo.

The dreaded Mashurugwi are responsible for killings, theft, rape with the crimes mostly committed within communities they illegally mine for gold.