By Anyway Yotamu and Joyce Mukucha
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has arrested more than 1 500 illegal artisanal miners and 3 471 people found in possession of dangerous weapons including machetes have been arrested so far as police moves a gear up to thwart the marauding machete gangs.
Addressing a press conference in Harare on Thursday 5 December 2019, Minister of Home Affairs and National Heritage Hon Kazembe Kazembe said police will continue with the raids to ensure that sanity prevails in all mining areas across the country.
Matebeleland North topped the list of the illegal miners arrested with 546, while Bulawayo had the least with 27 people arrested so far.
Midlands (200), Mashonaland East had 53, Harare (200), Manicaland (42), Masvingo (46), Mashonaland Central (83), Matabeleland South (147) and Mashonaland West (186) illegal miners were arrested.
“We have met with our Mines and Mining Development ministry officials and the police commanders today to discuss the tropical issues of the machete wielding gangs which are flooding all over the mining areas.The media is awash with stories of machete wielding gang wars and this is worrisome to us as we want peace and security to prevail in our country .
“We will continue with the raids because we are saying Zimbabwe is open for business. We cannot attract foreign investors if law and order is not prevailing in the country. We have moved a gear up in the raids as these issues are of a security concern,” said Minister Kazembe.
For the past six months machete-wielding gangster reports are increasing on social media and local newspapers across the country.