By Staff Reporter
REDCLIFF MP, Lloyd Mukapiko has hit out at the state security apparatus for indiscriminately attacking civilians in desperate attempts to contain the menace posed by machete wielding gangs in his constituency.
This comes after the state has deployed police and the army in the steel making suburb in a bid to combat acts of violence carried out by illegal gold panners commonly referred to as maShurugwi.
Innocent civilians have however been caught up as the security organs have reportedly been attacking residents who have nothing to do with the machete gangs.
Mukapiko was up in arms with the state for allegedly introducing a curfew in the gold mining area.
“Whilst it is commendable that the army and the police have been deployed to try and contain the machete gangs in the area, it is however concerning that they are also assaulting innocent civilians in the process,” he said.
Mukapiko said he was receiving reports of civilians who have been injured in the random police-army attacks.
“We have been receiving reports that civilians are sustaining severe injuries. The situation points to a situation in which citizens have turned into double victims; that is at the hands of the machete gangs and now at the hands of the security sector.”
The MDC legislator said people in his constituency now lived in constant fear of being attacked by the state security apparatus.
“Residents can no longer walk freely especially during the night as they risk severe assaults after being mistaken for machete gangs.
“This indiscriminate beating of innocent civilians must stop so that the security individuals can focus on the real culprits, the machete wielders,” he said.
Mukapiko said he was in the process of engaging the state to try and implore the authorities to exercise restraint when dealing with innocent civilians.
A week before, rival machete gangs believed to be belonging to the notorious Dube family and another from the Maketo family clashed at a shopping complex in the suburb of Torwood with a gang member belonging to one of the groups hacked to death.
Three others were rushed to Kwekwe General Hospital after they got severely injured.
Police are investigating the matter.
Mukapiko said the rivalry between the two groups was a long-standing affair which police have been reluctant to deal with.
He added, “When people go to make reports if assaulted, no action is taken against the culprits. We suspect the police are afraid of the gangs,” he said.
The MP said it was time people protected themselves from the marauding gangs.