Minister blames unemployment for Midlands deadly machete wars; slams ‘predatory animal behaviour’ by panners

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By Staff Reporter

MIDLANDS Provincial Affairs Minister Larry Mavhima has blamed unemployment for fuelling the so-called machete wars across the province.

The violence usually involves artisanal gold miners.

Addressing Kwekwe journalists recently, Mavhima said government is concerned with the deadly machete wars which have claimed many lives in the province.

The security services are however seized with the matter, the minister added.

“In our provincial Joint Operations Command (JOC) meetings where I am the chairperson the issue of machetes in the province has always cropped up.

“The security sector is currently gripped with the matter as we cannot allow such a scourge to continue.”

Highlighting the major driver of the crisis, the minister said; “The fundamental problem is that youths are unemployed.

“As government we need to introduce programs to take youths from this quick money. Youths have been driven by desperation and lack of guidance.

“It is disturbing that our youths are no longer respecting life.”

He continued; “We are extremely worried about this banditry and lawlessness as a result of disputes occurring amongst artisanal miners.

“We resolved as JOC that we are not going to tolerate the situation. One death is too many.

“We cannot tolerate a situation where artisanal miners are using guns, and homemade weapons in their wars.

“It is saddening that our youths are butchering each other for the sake of a mere $200 which they might have made.

“It is regrettable that our people deteriorate to such predatory animal behaviour. We cannot allow this to continue.”

Government, Mavhima said, has identified some hot-spots were machete wars were rampant, one of them being Kwekwe-based Gaika.

The closure of Gaika Mine, Mavhima explained is not an isolated incident but a national programme to sanitise the country.

“I can confirm that Gaika Mine is one of the mines listed to be addressed from a national point of view. It is not an isolated case.

“There is a whole list of mines which we said must be dealt with,” he said.