Miners join anti-machete gangs chorus

By Stephen Chadenga

Confederation of Zimbabwe Miners (CZM) president, Advance Ranganai
Chauke has said miners condemn the acts of violence perpetrated by
machete wielding artisanal gold miners describing such actions as
“demonic.”
Chauke said precious minerals such as gold were God given and those
exploring for such riches should not shed blood as it was against
moral and cultural values.
“We say to those artisanal miners who are shedding blood please stop
the nonsense,”Chauke said week on the sidelines of a tour of CMN Mines
and farming projects just outside Gweru.
“People who move around with machetes and other dangerous weapons
purporting to be miners are demonic. They are not part of us and we
strongly condemn their acts and call upon law enforcers to deal with
them.”
Chauke who is also CMN Mines managing director said it was unfortunate
that the machete gangs were terrorising innocent civilians going about
their businesses.
The miners position comes at a time both human rights organisations
and government have condemned the attacks by machete gangs.
Last week the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) condemned
violence perpetrated by machete wielding gangs. In a statement ZHRC
said law enforcement agents should urgently deal with such people.
Last weekend, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe
Kazembe also condemned attacks on police officers and civilians by
machete gangs.
This follows the death of an officer at the hands of the gang, which
(gang) has since been arrested.
Meanwhile Chirumanzu legislator, Barbara Rwodzi urged artisanal miners
to conduct themselves in a “civilised manner” to maintain peace in the
country.
“As women our cry has always been peace for the nation,”she said.
“It pains when our children butcher each other in the quest for gold
and other mineral riches. A community that sheds blood cannot prosper
and evil actions have ripple effects for the development of the
country.”