Gold panners in Bindura’s Chipadze area have killed two soldiers following violent clashes there on Tuesday morning, army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Alphios Makotore has confirmed.
In an interview with the UK based New Zimbabwe.com website, Makotore is quoted saying;
“We have our men who are part of a contingent preparing for independence celebrations. Some of them visited a local bar and on their way back they met the gold panners. You know these people have a penchant for terrorising people in the communities in which they operate.
“It’s so rampant in Bindura and Kwekwe. It was just unfortunate that our members came across this rowdy crowd and an altercation ensued.
“Initially four were injured with two dying while another two were admitted in hospital with injuries. However, one has since been discharged from hospital,” Makotore is quoted saying.
After the government decriminalised artisanal gold mining three years ago, violence perpetrated by robbers and mining mafia is on the surge. Many miners now carry machetes for self defense.
In Kwekwe for example, the general hospital there treats close to 15 people per week who are victims of machete attacks in the amakorokoza running battles.