By Bethel Bayanai
Police have arrested 240 illegal gold miners in Hwedza in a move to eliminate machete gangs and illegal gold miners under their recently launched operation code named ‘Zero Tolerance to Machete Wilding Gangs and Chikorokoza’.
In a statement Assistance Commissioner (Crime/ Operations) Amon Ndou said this operation is targeting illegal gold miners and hooligans using machetes in robbery cases.
“Various Police departments are on the ground making sure that peace prevails in mining areas.
“Apparently more than 240 people were arrested on Thursday last week in Makaha area, Mudzi District in Mashonaland East Province,” he said.
“Those arrested included illegal vendors and the majority were illegal gold miners; illegal vendors had their wares confiscated and were made to pay fines.
“Those who were arrested for illegal panning of gold will appear in court soon facing criminal charges for prospecting for gold without licence.
“With respect to the arrests Police managed to recover various small scale mining equipment that include hammer mills, jack hammers, wheel barrows, shovels, generators and explosives among other things,” said Ndou.
Ndou warned people to desist from engaging in illegal mining activities for it is a criminal offence and the police will not hesitate to arrest anyone found committing such crime.
“This is an on-going operation and police will not retire until sanity prevails in and around such gold mining areas throughout the country,” he said. H-Metro