The gang has now grown in numbers and widened its criminal activities. It has transformed itself into a real mafia – running protection rackets, extorting money from companies, forcibly taking over businesses and, for good measure, beating up MDC supporters and evicting them from their homes in order to maintain its Zanu (PF) credentials.
The Chipangano mafia has grown so large and become so powerful that the police are unable to control the beast. In fact, Harare policemen have been shown to be afraid of them. Some policemen have actually been assaulted by members of Chipangano. No arrests have been made.
The gang listens to no-one – not even President Robert Mugabe. Recently, while Mugabe was addressing Parliament, saying there should be no violence in Zimbabwe, these thugs were outside the building beating up people – including one policeman. Again, no arrests were made. And this despite photographic evidence, which clearly identifies some of the thugs, being published in various newspapers.
As the police have been shown to be impotent, Zimbabweans are talking about what they can do to protect themselves from these thugs. There have been some suggestions that people should form vigilante groups to protect themselves and their businesses. But this is no solution as the ZRP would undoubtedly swing into action against them. And violence always begets more violence.
The failure by government to stop Chipangano’s outrageous behaviour is a serious dereliction of duty. A time will come when people will feel that they have nothing more to lose and will take the law into their own hands.
Sensing that they have nurtured a monster that could destroy them, Zanu (PF) secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa has disowned the thugs and would like to see them arrested. We wait with bated breath to see whether Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri will obey his master’s voice, and whether indeed he will be able to put a stop to this now widespread criminal behaviour.Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga