Police in Matabeleland North Province have launched an operation targeting people carrying traditional weapons such as machetes and axes in public, particularly illegal miners known as MaShurugwi amid a spike in violence.

According to provincial police spokesperson for Mat’ North, Chief Inspector Siphiwe Makonese, an operation codenamed ‘No to Murder’ got underway Monday this week and is expected to come to an end next Monday.

Chief Inspector Makonese made the revelations to state media after a pregnant Binga woman was repeatedly struck with an axe on her head by a man believed to be her boyfriend, in an attempted murder case.

The hospitalised woman, Twalumba Siamudenda (26), was left for dead after she was attacked by Ability Tshuma (30) of Junamina area under Chief Saba in Binga.

Tshuma is still on the run after he fled from the scene of the crime. He was seen committing the crime by a 16-year-old boy who was fetching firewood in a nearby bush.

“This attempted murder case comes at a time when we are carrying out an operation code named “No To Murder” (Ububulala Abantu Hatshi/Kuuraya Vanhu Kwete) which started on the 14th of September to the 21st of September 2020. We are envisaging to ensure that there is a decrease in murder cases which usually start as assault or domestic violence and unfortunately culminate into murder,” Chief Inspector Makonese was quoted as saying.

“We are targeting people especially illegal gold miners and some members of the public who will exhibit violent behavior and carry dangerous weapons such as machetes, knobkerries, axes and iron rods. We appeal to members of the public to join us to save lives,” she said.

Illegal gold miners known as MaShurugwi are infamously known for resorting to the use of traditional weapons in the bloody machete wars which are predominant in mining areas across Zimbabwe.

state media
additional reporting: Zwnews