Gwanda town in Matabeleland South woke up from its slumber with the discovery of gold last month.
This has sparked a gold rush of unprecedented levels in the area.
Provincial police spokesperson Inspector Tafanana Dzirutwe told NewsDay this week that at least 47 illegal panners had been arrested at Vova Mine.
“We raided the area at night over the weekend and arrested 47 illegal panners, Inspector Dzirutwe said.”
“We also confiscated three motor vehicle and nine scotch-carts which were being used at the operations,” he said.
He said police had resorted to daily night raids so as to cope with the swelling numbers of gold seekers descending on Vova Mine.
“They are not being given the option of a fine,” said a source at the local court. Some gold panners rake in as much as R5 000 a day while some lucky ones could stumble on rocks laden with huge deposits of gold and earn even much more.
“There is a lot of gold in this place and once in a while one can come across a large piece of gold-laden rock.
“I usually get about 30 grammes of gold each day and I sell each gramme for between R200 and R220,” said one panner who lives in Gwanda.
There were however panners that came in from as far as Mutare, Masvingo, Beitbridge, Mberengwa, Gweru and Bulawayo.