Hlongwane was speaking after videos went viral showing the machete gangs killing citizens wantonly.
Said Hlongwane, "Sometime in the future, machete gangs will claim to have 'liberated' zones where others cannot lawfully access for mining activity. Youths should not be gangsterised. It's easy to slide into Eastern Congo. The vandalism these gangs do to brand Zimbabwe is irreversible."
Hlongwane added that his hope was for government officials to take the side of Zimbabweans and do not protect the machete gangs."If left to go on, they will arm and resist even the security forces. This has precedence all over the world.
"The brutality is that of vampires. Government should really mean it to nip this in the bud. It was almost too late. I truly hope this time it will be done and that no one in government defends these people."
On Thursday the state owned Herald announce that more than 1 500 illegal artisanal miners and 3 471 people found in possession of dangerous weapons including machetes have been arrested so far as police moves a gear up to thwart the marauding machete gangs.
Posting on Twitter on Thursday Deputy Government Spokesperson Energy Mutodi said, "Rogue elements going around terrorizing people with machetes and other weapons have caught the concern of the government. Following media reports on gruesome murders of victims, police will enforce the law and bring the culprits to book."
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