Govt not planning to ban machetes

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Harare (New Ziana) –The Zimbabwe government does not have plans to ban machetes since they are used for useful and productive purposes.

Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe said this in the National Assembly on Wednesday during the written questions session.

He was responding to a question from Kadoma Central legislator Muchineripi Chinyanganya who wanted know whether the government had plans to criminalise the carrying of machetes.

“Currently, there are no such plans,” said Kazembe.

“However, the police are allowed by the law to issue orders as and when there is need to ban such weapons as they deem fit depending on the situation. We have had cases where the police have done that before.”

Zimbabwe experienced a wave of violence by marauding gangs wielding machetes who were either fighting for claims or proceeds in mostly gold mining areas in the past few years.

The cases have since gone down after security agencies launched a nationwide operation which saw the gang leaders being arrested and problem areas sealed off.

Kazembe said while the government appreciated the challenges that police faced in dealing with the elements who used machetes to commit crime, it recognised that the tool was used for various purposes.

“We need to be cognisant of the fact that yes, it may be used by some people for other reasons which are unwanted such as harming other people, but machetes by their nature, are supposed to be used for various things. Some can be used for useful and productive things,” he said.

“Nonetheless, we have taken note of the concern raised by the Hon. Member and we will look at the possibility of implementing what he has recommended.”

Zimbabwe does not have a law that bans the use of machetes, with the police relying on the Public Order and Maintenance Act for specific periods, after which they cannot arrest anyone.

Machetes are used to cut sugar cane in the Low Veld, while in neighbouring countries they are used to clear fields.
New Ziana

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