- February 3, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
THE Zimbabwe Diamonds and Allied Workers’ Union (ZIDAWU) has added its voice to the growing calls for authorities to take tough action against machete-wielding gangs that have since invaded parts of Manicaland.
The gangs have invaded Mutare, Chimanimani, and Chipinge, known for their rich gold deposits.
The local courts are awash with fresh cases of violent crimes perpetrated by the machete-wielding gangs.
This has prompted ZIDAWU to disown the gangs and demand stern measures against them.
ZIDAWU chairman Mr. Cosmas Sunguro said the gangs’ operations posed a serious threat to national security.
“These gangs are very violent and do not value life at all. They have recently expanded their operations from remote mining areas to nearby towns, causing alarm and despondency.
“With Zimbabwe’s reputation as a country with best security forces in Africa, surely something stern has to be done before this degenerates into anarchy. ZIDAWU we can safely say that those involved in these atrocities are nowhere near gold miners, but are thugs and murderers,” he said.
“With the abundance of gold in Zimbabwe, surely there is no reason for one to slash a fellow miner to death. Moreso, using bullying tactics to siphon gold and other valuable properties from other miners,” said Mr Sunguro.
Mr Sunguro said ZIDAWU was worried about the growing numbers of victims.
Statistics for injuries and fatalities have risen to more than 200 since November 2019. The figures include soldiers and policemen who have fallen victims to the ruthless gangs.
Fears abound that the gangs have re-invaded the Chiadzwa diamond fields.
He said villagers near mining areas should not accommodate these violent gangs.
“We are also worried about the imminent and unforeseeable implications of these heinous acts. Miners and related people need protection for us to realise the intended multi-billion dollar mining industry by 2023
“The environment in the extractive mining industry has to be conducive for business otherwise it will remain a pipe-dream. Unfortunately, mining, apart from agriculture, has been the mainstay of the economy and any disturbance is likely to hamper our economic development as a nation. Given the above scenario, we encourage urgent action to be undertaken, lest we become submerged in violence and lawlessness,” said Mr Sunguro.
A machete-wielding gang last week invaded and caused mayhem at Redwing Mine.
The gang demanded land to mine gold and destroyed property worth thousands of dollars, leading to the arrest of four of them.
This week another armed group attacked a Chipinge farm and robbed the family of macadamia nuts worth a fortune.
They were eventually arrested.
The Manica Post