The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) has urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa to declare the machete violence a state of emergency saying the situation will paint the country’s investment climate in a gloomy picture if left uncontained.
In a statement released to Great Dyke News 24, ZELA said the outcomes of some machete violence cases has seen some perpetrators walking scot-free, leading to the questioning of the integrity of the country’s judicial system.
“We are deeply concerned by duty bearers’ apathy to deal with the root cause of the machete-wielding gangs whose actions are worryingly escalating each day.
“We feel disheartened by the Zimbabwe judiciary’s failure to observe the guidelines of sound, fair and transparent legal structure.
“The conclusion of some machete violence cases has seen some perpetrators continuously enjoying impunity leading to the country’s justice system being labelled ‘inept’,” reads the statement.
According to ZELA, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines jointly with the Defence Committee has made a commitment to undertake an inquiry to the violence starting from February 2020.
“We are also concerned by the President’s non-reactionary move to declare the machete violence a state of emergency.
“The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines jointly with the Defence Committee has made a commitment to undertake an enquiry to the violence starting from February 2020.
“However, what is needed now is to immediately prevent the wanton violence which should have been contained in its embryonic stage,” reads part of the statement.
“We are saddened by the poor policy environment to resolve rampant violence likely to derail anticipated socio-economic development hinged on gold production.
“The violence if uncontained will paint the country’s investment climate in a gloomy picture, thus shunning prospective investors keen on responsible mineral supply chains,” said ZELA.
Meanwhile, ZELA has called on the government to quickly formalise artisanal and small scale mining.
“We now, therefore, call on the Government of Zimbabwe and its relevant stakeholders to ensure that it moves swiftly to formalise artisanal and small-scale mining instead of criminalising this sector which has become a source of livelihood for many people trying to escape persistent poverty,” reads the statement.