Seven machete makers, who were arrested last week at Siyaso in Mbare, Harare, on suspicion of supplying machetes to armed robbers and criminals in mining communities, were on Saturday remanded in custody.
Last week, police recovered 31 machetes during a raid in Mbare.
Siyaso is a home industry where a range of items are made and machetes cost between US$6 and US$10.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed that the suspects appeared in court.
“Members of the public with information on people supplying machetes and other criminal activities should inform their nearest police stations,” he said.
Last week, Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga spoke against the wave of machete attacks during a tour of Gweru Central Police Station by Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe.
Police officers commanding districts have prohibited for three months the carrying of weapons such as machetes, knives, catapults, swords and knobkerries
Asst Comm Nyathi urged the public to heed prohibition notices in their areas.
Failure to comply with the order, he said, will render one guilty of an offence that attracts a jail term.
Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga said: “Without mincing my words, I am disgusted by the violent nature of machete-wielding criminals who are threatening to turn our country into an unsafe and uninhabitable place.
“Over the past few weeks, cases of these criminal elements masquerading as gold panners have been on the increase. Consequently, we have recorded a surge in cases of murder, rape, armed robbery, among other illicit activities. Apart from terrorising communities, day and night, these hooligans are also invading legal mining claims killing many, including taking the lives of police officers. This is unacceptable. We can never allow criminals to do as they please while creating war zones.”
Comm-Gen Matanga said the machete attackers’ days were “absolutely numbered”.