- August 27, 2020
- Posted in NEWS
Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) is taking a massive step in ensuring that former machete-gangs are rehabilitated into the mining sector in order to reduce violence.
According to ZELA Deputy Director Shamiso Mtisi, the organization is testing a machete gang rehabilitation model on which they would use to the rest of the country in ensuring that the sector is violent free.
“Rehabilitation of former machete and gold gang members to become responsible gold miners and diggers is a replicable model across the country. In Shurugwi this approach is being tested” Mtisi said.
Mtisi said that due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic which closed many avenues of money generation, many people have ventured into the artisanal and small-scale mining sector. Artisanal and Small-Scale gold mining now sustains many communities in the country than before the pandemic. This has promoted fear that violence in the sector would return leading ZELA to establish a rehabilitation program.
“There has been a massive upsurge of people moving into artisanal and small-scale gold mining as Covid-19 Lockdowns impact negatively on other economic sectors,” he said.
The ZELA Deputy Director also said that his organization in light of government inaction on formalizing artisanal miners has created a model of formalizing these miners through tributary engagements.
“In light of Government inaction on the formalisation of artisanal mining, modelling profit-sharing schemes for licenced miners and artisanal diggers using tributary agreements with fair terms is a good option as being tested by some ASM groups in Shurugwi,” Mtisi said.
The gold price has risen by 34% since the start of the year, and early this month broke through the $2,000 an ounce barrier and kept rising, as investors worry about Covid-19. This has made the gold mining sector a sort after sector due to its high returns.
Machete gangs are a gang of robbers that usually pounce on well-performing small-scale gold mines. Zimbabwe Police in January this year arrested the leader of a popular “Maziga” machete gang after a video of the gang showing off their weaponry circulated online.
Meanwhile, the leader was released from custody and is believed to be conducting mining operations in the Battlefields area.