By Anna Chibamu
AMID reports of several merciless killings by machete wielding gangs commonly referred to as Mashurugwi, parliament’s Mines and Mining Development committee is set to conduct an inquiry into the massacres starting next week, Shurugwi South MP and committee chairperson Edmond Mkaratigwa has said.
Following deliberations over the matter, Mkaratigwa told the media his committee was concerned about the violent acts by the gangs.
“The portfolio committee on Mines and Mining Development had an urgent meeting today (Wednesday) against the background of the gold panning gangs commonly known as terrorists operating under the name,” Mashurugwi.
“The committee has keenly discussed this issue today (Wednesday) and resolved to conduct an inquiry into the matter in order to identify and trace the foundations and development of the gold panning gangs and find out the socio-economic impact of the disturbances by them on gold production,” said Mkaratigwa.
Among other issues, the inquiry will also seek to establish government’s effort in trying to end the perpetuity of the terrorism against gold producers by the gangs towards achieving a sustainable mining industry.
The committee further resolved that government kick starts legislative procedures to allow for stiffer penalties on perpetrators as well as to expedite the formalisation of artisanal mining activities.
The chairperson however highlighted that the committee is now working on procedural and administrative matters.
Mashurugwi have to date killed an unspecified number of people which the committee will find out after the inquiry, according to Mkaratigwa.
Norton MP Temba Mliswa has castigated authorities in government for failing to deal with the issue alleging the killing are being perpetrated by a cartel (criminals) linked to some Zanu PF officials.