KWEKWE police have issued a ban on the carrying of dangerous weapons including machetes, in a bid to contain running battles between rival groups of gold panners.
Source: Bloody panners’ battles force police to issue machetes ban – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 8, 2017
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Officer commanding Kwekwe District, Chief Superintendent David Tiese, issued a prohibition order under section 14(1) of the much maligned Public Order and Security Act (Posa) banning the carrying of dangerous weapons which include catapults, machetes, knobkeriies, knives, axes, spears and any traditional weapons whatsoever for a period ending end of April.
The order, which has affected rural folk around Kwekwe district, was introduced following several battles in which illegal gold panners hacked each other with machetes.
Cryptically, police in Kwekwe had earlier suggested that the public surrender their weapons to the Zanu PF youth league. However the suggestion was resisted, leading to the blanket ban.
In a sworn affidavit, officer-in-charge (crime) for Kwekwe Central, Erick Batoni, submitted that he agreed to the suggestion by the panners that the weapons be handed over to Zanu PF.
“It was agreed in that meeting that machetes are to be surrendered to the youth personnel of Zanu PF HQ, Kwekwe, as a measure to show that people are committed to see that the peace initiative schemes become a success,” read the affidavit signed last year in November.
Those found in possession of the weapons risk being jailed for at least six months or face a level five fine.
“Any person failing to comply with such a prohibition order shall be guilty of an offense and will be liable to a fine not exceeding level five or imprisonment of up to six months or both such imprisonment and fine,” read the order.