THE military must now step in to stop machete gangs who are terrorising and killing people in many parts of the country, Norton MP Temba Mliswa has said.

Speaking at a policy dialogue meeting organised by the Southern African Political Economy Series (Sapes) Trust in conjunction with the Information for Development Trust (IDT) in Harare on Thursday, Mliswa also said he had challenged State Security minister Owen Ncube to come out in public and set the record straight concerning reports that he was behind the machete gangsters.

Mliswa said the Constitution empowers the military to help the police in dire situations.

“Machete wars have now gone out of hand and the police are struggling to contain the menace.

- Advertisement -

However, we have a mighty military force in the country. The generals of the army are also very intelligent. They don’t go to war and use that time to study. So they can actually strategise and deal with this machete gangster problem,” he said.

“Section 251 (of the Constitution) gives the army the mandate to carry out such an operation of flushing out machete gangsters. The army conducted Operation Restore Legacy which removed the late President Robert Mugabe from power. So it means the army is powerful and can manage to deal with the problem of machete gangsters,” said Mliswa.

Mbizo MP, Settlement Chikwinya (MDC Alliance) said there was need for the authorities to interview criminals convicted of machete violence so that they explain how the menace was organised.

“In the prisons we have the small fish who were jailed due to machete violence. These are the ones who should tell us how they operated and name the big fish behind them. There have been names of top officials that have been implicated but we can only get the true stories from the small fish in the prisons,” he said.