Machete gangs resurface in Mutare

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By Felix Matasva, Manicaland Correspondent 

ARMED robbers have resurfaced in Mutare’s eastern leafy suburbs where they are terrorising residents at their homes during the night,  making off with valuables.

Police once quelled the menace in 2019 after a blitz which resulted in several of them being apprehended.

The unruly gangs would break doors and brazenly ransack homes, at times hitting three places a night between October and December 2018.

Residents who spoke to recently have confirmed that machete gangs started to reemerge across affluent suburbs since the beginning of winter.

“Residents must be alert at night because machete gangs are back. In the past three days, there have been reports of attacks and break-ins in the uptown areas.

“Last night some people were attacked in Palmerstone and one was injured,” a Morningside resident said.

According to police, two cases of robberies occurred last week on the same night, whereby notorious gangs pounced on two homes in Morningside and Bordervale.

On June 21, four machete wielding unknown persons stormed a home in Bordervale at 2am and assaulted three complainants using the flat side of a machete.

They ransacked the house before they fled with a laptop, mobile phones, shoes and various clothes.

“On the same night, Gideon Gonde sustained a deep cut after he was struck on the upper lip with a machete by four unknown persons who broke into his Morningside cottage.

He surrendered cash and a cell phone as they went into the next room where Marcia Mataruse was sleeping,” said Manicaland police spokesperson, Inspector Nobert Muzondo.

“Mataruse lost two laptops, smart phones, cash, clothes and groceries to the gang members, who are still on the run.

Investigations are underway and the four unknown accused are on the run,” he added.

Muzondo appealed to Mutare residents to approach their nearest police stations, in order to set up neighbourhood watch committees.

He said the committees are vital vigilante groups in which police and general public can work as equal partners in the fight against crime.