More maShurugwi gangsters arrested
© AT LEAST five members of a machete gang operating in the Mazowe area in Mashonaland Central were arrested at the weekend at Jumbo Mine, the Daily News reports.
This comes as under pressure authorities intensify their bid to end the growing incidence of barbaric attacks on innocent civilians around the country by the ruthless illegal gold panners.
Deputy national police spokesperson Blessing Chishaka confirmed the latest arrests yesterday.
“Five illegal miners were arrested on January 10 at Jumbo Mine. Police recovered a star pistol firearm, 128 explosives and five 50kg bags of gold ore.
“The operation against illegal mining activities is going on and the public is urged to desist from engaging in such activities,” Chishaka said.
The arrest of the five gangsters comes after police recently arrested many other machete gang members around the country, including in Kadoma and Gokwe.
Among those arrested in Kadoma are six people — including a 14-year-old boy — who are linked to a bloody clash that resulted in the killing of police officer Wonder Hokoyo on December 28 last year.
Meanwhile, the parliamentary portfolio committee on Mines and Mining Development is set to start probing the evil work of machete-wielding artisanal miners — who have killed scores of people around the country and terrorised many communities.
These criminals are particularly a major menace around the country’s gold and diamond producing regions — which has also prompted Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi to announce recently that the government is mulling a shoot-to-kill policy against them.
The chairperson of the Mines parliamentary committee, Edmond Mkaratigwa, says his committee will gather all relevant information, including establishing what the government is doing to end the maShurugwi “terrorism”.
“The stakeholders that we will invite include … the police commissioner general, the National Prosecuting Authority, media executives and editors, traditional chiefs, the Zimbabwe Miners Federation, civil society organisations … among others, because the committee is perplexed by the rampant killings going on, and so Parliament cannot remain silent on the issue and it will ensure that punitive measures are put in place,” he said.
The committee will also push the government to kick-start legislative proceedings which would provide for stiffer penalties on the perpetrators of the violence.
“Zimbabwe is a civilised republic hence the acts of violence sprouting around the country cannot continue because it is retrogressive,” Mkaratigwa added.
After the enquiry, that would see the holding of public meetings in several mining towns to gather evidence, the committee will produce and present a comprehensive report to Parliament — while also making recommendations for action.