- January 13, 2021
- Posted in LOCAL
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) through their Twitter handle yesterday said that they had arrested 70 artisanal miners countrywide.
The Police have intensified the banning of all illegal mining by introducing an operation code-named, “Operation Chikorokoza Ngachipere/ Isitsheketsha Kasiphele and No To Machete Gangs” which resulted in the arrest of the 70.
826 artisanal miners have been arrested since the operation started late last year.
“On 11/01/21, Police arrested a total of 70 people on “Operation Chikorokoza Ngachipere/ Isitsheketsha kasiphele and No To Machete Gangs. Since the onset of the operation, a total of 826 arrests were made.” The Police said on their Twitter handle.
The banning of artisanal mining in the country has been criticised by miners and economists who have regarded artisanal miners as important players in national development and growth of the economy.
Economists have argued that artisanal miners were supposed to be formalized than being banned because their output in the national fiscus has been of greater significance. It also does not make sense that Mines Ministry is pushing for an end to Artisanal mining when it is in fact them that are failing to formalise the sector.
Artisanal and Small Scale miners account for over 60 percent of gold delivered to the country’s sole gold buyer and exporter, Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR). ASM also stand accused of being the major source of gold leakage in the country which costs the country over a 100million monthly. Miners have argued that Fidelity pays less than the parallel market rate which late last year was fetching around US60/gram in Bindura when Fidelity was paying around US52/gram.
Gold has been the country’s major foreign currency earner in the last years.