By Moses Matenga
Ruling Zanu PF party officials in Gokwe North district have accused local police officers of leading an illegal mining syndicate and blocking locals and traditional leaders from mining following a gold rush in the area.
Speaking during a Gokwe North district co-ordinating committee meeting on Monday, local legislator Justice Mayor Wadyajena condemned the behaviour of the police officers.
Wadyajena, who is Gokwe-Nembudziya MP, said there were reports of elements within the police force engaging in illegal mining activities and harassing villagers.
“What is even worrying is that chiefs were also blocked by the police from investigating the matter,” he said.
“Our people are not benefiting. We took up the issue of community share ownership schemes and the people led by the chiefs should benefit and that is what we want.”
A report produced by the district development committee members who visited the area with officials from the President’s Department, the police and council stated that over 8 000 people had invaded the area, resulting in an increase in cases of violence, prostitution and other criminal activities.
“The place is a haven for criminal activities,” the report read in part.
The report recommended that all the illegal activities must stop forthwith.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commisioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the gold rush and warned police officers allegedly engaged in illegal activities to refrain from such activities.
“There was an alleged gold rush, police were called in to restore order and there are processes by the relevant ministry for people to get relevant papers. lf there are officers working outside the law, we will move in and take action,” Nyathi said. News Day