50 killed in gold panner clashes in Mash West
By Blessings Chidakwa in Kadoma
More than 50 people have died in Mashonaland West following separate clashes among artisanal gold miners, mainly over claims and territories since the beginning of this year.
An undisclosed number, which could be more, have also seen the informal miners dying of accidents amid calls for the speedy regularisation and capacitation of the sector.
Artisanal gold miners have contributed significantly to Zimbabwe’s 24 tonnes deposited into the State reserves although the sector has been dogged by a plethora of challenges.
Speaking during a recent Zimbabwe Miners Federation stakeholders meeting, the organisation’s regional chairperson for Mashonaland West Mrs Chiedza Chipangura said more than 50 people have died in clashes involving artisanal miners since the beginning of the year.
She, however, said the deaths could be more, considering that some cases are not reported to the police.
“In our province, more than 50 people have died as a result of the gold mining activities. Artisanal miners are killing each other in clashes caused by various issues.
“We need this to end. What is most worrying is that there are highly reputable people who sponsor these syndicates are behind a spate of murders and robberies of gold ore.”
She said there were people who incite youths to go and invade or raid mines in the province whenever there is a gold rush. The Herald