By Lisa Nyanhongo
TWENTY-one (21) illegal gold and chrome miners have been arrested at the Mutubva Chrome mining site in Norton.
The arrests were made on May 27 under police’s ‘Restore Sanity’ operation aimed at curbing cases of robberies and murders in Norton, allegedly committed by miners.
Recently Norton legislator, Temba Mliswa called for the deployment of soldiers with shoot to kill orders to deal with illegal miners in his constituency whom he claimed had overpowered the police.
Police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, said “Police recovered two compressor engines, a generator, a pressure pump, a water pump, a chrome safe, a windless stand, six picks, seven shovels, four hummers, and two axes during the operation”.
With the unemployment rate soaring and successive droughts immensely affecting subsistence farming in rural Zimbabwe, young people are resorting to a more lucrative alternative; artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM).
Zimbabwe is said to have over 4,000 gold deposits, and the Parliament of Zimbabwe estimates that some 500,000 small-scale miners in the country support up to three million dependents.