Police warn Jumbo Mine criminals

POLICE Commissioner Godwin Matanga was Monday urged to take stern action against some of his officers deployed at Jumbo Mine in Mazowe who are accused of accepting bribes from illegal artisanal miners so that they are permitted to operate without any hindrances.

Jumbo Mine, located in Mashonaland Central, has now become a hub for illegal artisanal miners.

Government has now deployed the Zimbabwe Republic Police to restrict access to the mine.

Investigations carried out by Zim Morning Post revealed that police were imposing a “fee” of between US$20 and US$30 on illegal miners so they could operate in the area.

In interview with one illegal gold panner only known as Murehwa, this publication heard that police were clandestinely receiving money from the panners.

“All we want is to do our job. Christmas is beckoning,” Murehwa said.

“The US$20 charged is nothing. I would rather pay it than be chased away and not be able to pan for gold,” he added.

Increased incidents illegal mining activities have coincided with rising machete wars which have claimed many lives in the area.

Permenant Secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Nick Mangwana wrote on his Twitter handle that machetes would soon be banned.

“Machetes will be banned, with those possessing them set to be jailed under a new law being crafted by government.

“Police statics show that Kadoma recorded 224 machete-related crimes and Chegutu 125 this year alone.”

Recently, police arrested more than 1 500 illegal artisanal miners and 3 471 people found in possession of dangerous weapons, including machetes.

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Ziyambi Ziyambi told Zim Morning Post that other stakeholders should join the fight against machete wars.

Speaking to Zim Morning Post on Monday, police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe made it clear that corrupt officers will face the wrath of the law.

“Police officers and illegal panners who connive and break the law will be arrested once they are discovered,” Nyathi said.