Manhunt for machete-wielding gang

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POLICE have launched a manhunt for suspected 30 machete-wielding gangsters who wreaked havoc at a business centre in Fort Rixon near Bulawayo assaulting people and destroying property last week, the Daily News on Sunday reports.
National police spokesperson Paul Nyathi said the operation Chikorokoza Ngachipere / Isitsheketsha Kasiphele and No to Machete Gangs, launched late last year by police to curb anarchy in the country is going ahead.

“Police in Fort Rixon are hunting down 30 men involved in public violence at Mount Royal Business Centre, Fort Rixon on September 19 at about 1200 hours.

“The unidentified suspects who are believed to be illegal gold panners from Nkayi armed themselves with axes, machetes and stones before assaulting everyone at the business centre and setting alight two tuckshops.

“A Nissan Caravan belonging to the suspects was burnt in the melee,” Nyathi said.

So far at least 50 000 people have been arrested in the operation.

“As at September 23, the police made a total of 51 725 arrests on operation Chikorokoza Ngachipere/ Isitsheketsha Kasiphele and No to Machete Gangs. Members of the public are warned from illegal mining activities throughout the country,” he said.

Meanwhile, on the other hand, about 29 people were arrested at a farm in Inyathi on September 17, when they tried to resist efforts to disperse them during a gold rush.

Six vehicles were impounded and various groceries recovered.

The Inyathi incident comes barely a day after at least 200 suspected illegal miners were nabbed in Chiweshe.
“On September 16 police in Chiweshe descended on illegal mining activities and arrested 200 people.

“Thirteen generators, 11 hammer-mills, nine jack-hammers, three water pumps, two sacks of gold ore, empty plastic and metal drums and various equipment were recovered during the arrest,” Nyathi said.

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