Harare (New Ziana) – The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has condemned the continued acts of violence perpetrated by machete wielding artisanal gold miners and said the full wrath of the law should be meted out against the gangs.
Mobs of violent artisanal miners have invaded some gold mining areas around the country and are known to mete out instant justice to rival miners and even innocent civilians.
The illegal gold miners, popularly known as “MaShurugwi”, have been accused of killing, raping women and slaughtering people’s livestock, leaving citizens frightened to carry out their day to day activities.
Late last year, a machete gang in Battlefields killed a policeman and seriously injured his colleague at Good Hope Mine while they were carrying out their duties.
Two suspects have since been arrested.
In a statement, the ZHRC urged law enforcement agents to urgently deal with the gangs.
“The ZHRC unreservedly condemns the callous and unwarranted attack by the unruly and greedy machete wielding mob on the police in discharge of their constitutional mandate at Brompton, Battlefields leading to the sad loss of life of constable Wonder Hokoyo,” the ZHRC said.
“The law of course must take its full course in barbaric instances of this nature. The commission condemns all similar past and present barbaric and intentional murders with the contempt they deserve and exhort law enforcement agencies to ensure the law takes its full course in all such instances.”
The police have arrested over 5 000 people since March last year for offences ranging from illegal mining to possession of dangerous weapons.