By Paidashe Mandivengerei
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has issued a stern warning to illegal gold mining gangs, commonly referred to as ‘Mashurugwi’ who are wreaking havoc in mining areas of the country.
The machete wielding groups mostly from Midlands province have been terrorising citizens in the country’s gold rich areas.
In the last half of this year alone, over 200 people have lost their lives and been maimed in bloody machete wars.
To date, thousands of miners have been arrested after they were found in possession of machetes.
Addressing Zanu PF delegates at the just ended party’s annual national conference, Mnangagwa said his government was going to deal with fraudulent officials in the mining industry.
“In the mining sector, we have launched a strategy which will see us grow a 12 billion dollar mining industry, by 2023.
“This will provide empowerment and employment for our people throughout the country.
“The party commends the role of small-scale miners in growing our mining sector, in particular, those in the gold and chrome sub-sectors.
“I call on those in this sub-sector to desist from violence and other illegal activities.
“Corruption and chicanery by some mining officials will be decisively dealt with. Perpetrators must stand warned,” he said.
According to a report recently presented by the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) between August and October 105 murders and over 221 assault cases were recorded as a result of the notorious mine wars.