By Fadzai Munodawafa
Shurugwi residents have rejected the portrayal of people from the district as violent citizens who have gained notoriety for engaging in fights for gold ore across the country.
Speaking to Great Dyke News 24, Chachacha ward 10 assistant headman Marvellous Madzivanyika said the naming of violent machete-wielding artisanal miners as “MaShurugwi” damages the image and reputation of people hailing from Shurugwi.
“Media practitioners should try to positively identify these perpetrators before they tarnish the image of the Shurugwi people because right now wherever we go we are regarded as violent people giving us a bad image,” he said.
In a telephone interview, Shurugwi South Constituency Member of Parliament Edmond Mkaratigwa, urged relevant authorities to identify the perpetrators of the violent acts and bring them to book.
“Responsible departments should carry out investigations on the identity of the perpetrators of this violence and carry out a public campaign to inform the public of their correct identities rather than tarnishing the Shurugwi name,” he said.
According to the Zimbabwe Miners Federation Chief Executive Officer Wellington Takavarasha, they are in the process of engaging the ZRP Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga to stop the stereotyping.
“There is a difference between Small Scale Miner and “MaShurugwi”. Those are thugs and they were given that name for their ruthless behavior.
“Artisanal miners are not the ones called MaShurugwi and as ZMF we are trying to stop that.
“We have written to the (ZRP) Commissioner-General so that we can stop that from happening. It’s not a mining behavior but it’s associated with thuggery, robbery hence they are not miners,” he said.
Machete-wielding illegal gold panners infamously known as “MaShurugwi “are wreaking havoc in artisanal mining compounds, terrorising settlers and farmers in parts of Mazowe and Guruve.
Force is what they are known for, thwarting any resistance through machetes and other terror weapons, be it over mine claims, women or even booze in the small scale mining areas such as Zuvarabuda in Mazowe and Kamushenjere Mine in Guruve.
“Mashurugwi” is a title derived from Shurugwi the mining town where the menacing thugs reportedly began their activities; the group knows no bounds and are not afraid to unleash a bloodbath in areas they set foot on.
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