A kombi-load of machete-wielding robbers attacked a well-secured Glen View 1 home of a Harare foreign currency dealer last week, critically injuring the dealer, his brother and father, while a smaller gang with a firearm attacked another dealer in the same neighbourhood, shooting him once on the side of the head and twice in the leg.
The first three are still in critical condition in hospital where they were rushed once police were summoned, while the dealer who was shot thrice, Edmore Kanyangira, is recuperating from home.
The raids are part of a growing spate of armed robberies against homes of people known to be currency dealers or owners of cash-rich businesses, with police pleading with the public not to keep cash at home.
The incidents in Glen View are among a spate of crimes committed by armed gangs most of whom are using machetes.
On Saturday, a policeman was killed while on duty in Battlefields near Kadoma and had his body chopped by members of a machete gang that also left a fellow police officer injured.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe yesterday assured the nation that police will bring all those behind the machete attacks to book.
“The police are seized with the matter and investigations are ongoing. The perpetrators will be brought to book in accordance with the law. We urge people to desist from taking the law into their own hands,” he said.
“Crimes are committed by people who live within our communities, people we probably know. We have a collective responsibility to ensure that there is peace and tranquillity in our country. I, therefore, urge all peace loving Zimbabweans to work and cooperate with the police to bring the culprits to book.”
On the Glen Viw incidents, the first well-planned assault by the gang of more than 15 started around midnight when the kombi pulled up at the gates.
Gang members leapt out and used hammers to break gate locks and hinges. Once through the gates, they switched to axes to chop through the main door and gained entry.
Inside, armed with machetes and iron bars, as well as hammers and axes used to gain entry, they struck the man and his family, getting away with $9 000, a laptop, car keys and cellphones.
A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the gang was travelling in a commuter omnibus when it raided the house around midnight.
“We were woken up by a loud banging noise as the gang used hammers to force open the gate,” he said. “When they managed to enter the yard, they used axes to strike the main door.
“The gang warned neighbours not to come out of their houses. They were told to mind their own business.”
Machete terror gangs grew in strength and numbers following the demise of President Robert Mugabe in November 2017. They started off as al-Shabaab, a pro Zanu PF-Lacoste linked criminal gang originating in President Mnangagwa’s home town of Kwekwe.
Now there over 1000 armed gangs spread across Zimbabwe. Police and soldiers are reportedly too afraid to disarm them.
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