Home News Artisanal Miners Wary Of Machete Gangs During Lockdown.

Artisanal Miners Wary Of Machete Gangs During Lockdown.

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The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) has revealed that a lot of artisanal miners still fear the return of machete gangs and loss of mining claims and equipment if they comply with goverment’s lockdown order without security at the mine.

According to the Mining Sector and Communities Situational Report released today, ZELA said some artisanal miners who closed their mines following the lockdown lost their equipment, machinery and in some cases gold ore.

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“While the levels of criminality and machete killings that plagued the ASM sector from November 2019 to February 2020 have somehow subsided, a few cases of criminality and theft were reported in Gwanda, Zvishavane and Shurugwi.
“Some ASM miners who closed their mines following the lockdown lost their equipment, machinery and in some cases gold ore,” says the report.
The report adds that criminals pretended to be COVID-19 Law Enforcement agents and stole gold, gold ore or tools from some mining sites.
“At some artisanal mine sites in Zvishavane criminals pretended to be COVID-19 Law Enforcement agents and stole gold, gold ore or tools.
“Some of the cases were reported to the police in Shurugwi. Generally, many ASM miners in Zvishavane, Gwanda, Bubi, Shurugwi, Mberengwa and Kadoma still fear the return of machete gangs and loss of mining claims and equipment if they stay at home without security at the mine,” reads part of the report.

According to the report, loss of mining claims is mostly fuelled by claim ownership and mining rights disputes, itself a result of lack of formalisation of artisanal mining and absence of a mining cadastre system.

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