POLICE this week sealed off Jumbo Mine in Mazowe and introduced a ‘gate pass system’ where individuals visiting areas surrounding the mine are asked to produce their identity particulars before being issued with gate-passes.
The operation is code-named “Chikorokoza Ngachipere.”
Jumbo Mine has been a haven for illegal activities with a high prevalence of machete wars.
However, Zim Morning Post established that syndicates terrorising the area are also made up of rogue police officers.
“Police officers and soldiers are smuggling illegal miners into the shafts and this makes the operation a hollow mission.
“There are about 300 illegal miners under the shafts now and some police officers actually bring them food,” said a resident.
The blitz has affected Mazowe residents who complained of arbitrary arrests where innocent people are being arrested.
“I was arrested on Monday when I was minding my business.
“The police demanded a bribe and accused me of being a miner yet I don’t even know what gold looks like, I had to pay ZWL100 fine,” said a Mazowe resident who declined to be named.
The resident further revealed that some Zanu PF bigwigs, including Cabinet ministers are involved in the rot.
In a statement released Monday, national police spokesperson Paul Nyathi said anyone found operating illegally in the area would be arrested and a team of senior officers was deployed.
The police’s efforts to maintain law and order at Jumbo area has become bitter-sweet to Mazowe residents.
It also emerged that some farmers living near Jumbo Mine are providing safe havens for illegal panners, including those on police wanted list.