HomeLocal NewsGovt seals off Kwekwe goldfields

Govt seals off Kwekwe goldfields

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KWEKWE The government has declared Sherwood Block believed to contain large deposits of alluvial gold a reserved area, to stop uncontrolled mining activities.

Fortune hunters had descended on the area located on the outskirts of the city, in the last fortnight.
There were reports panners were making a killing with some stumbling on gold nuggets worth thousands of dollars.

Zanu PF activists had also moved in to control the area, claimed by another party activist, under the guise of economic empowerment.

But, Mines and Mining Development deputy minister Gift Chimanikire yesterday said Sherwood had been declared a reserved area in terms of the Mines and Minerals Act.

The move suspends the issuing of new mining and prospecting licences. Chimanikire said the section was invoked on January 17. The Ministry of Mines has the mandate to licence miners and control mining, he said.

When scenes of chaos became the order of the day in Sherwood, the ministry had to move in and restore sanity. That is why we declared it a reserved area.

Zanu PF led by its provincial security officer Owen Mudha Ncube declared that it had taken over a portion of the area believed to be rich in gold.

Ncube, whom some said is now the new Zanu PF kingmaker in the province, registered party youths and war veterans promising to give them access to the area.

The youths and war veterans were first asked to buy Zanu PF cards or update their subscriptions. Chimanikire said mineral wealth in the country belonged to all Zimbabweans. Zanu PF does not make decisions in mining as it is the responsibility of the ministry and the government not political parties, he said.

Anyone who wants to mine from Sherwood or anywhere in the country should ensure they adhere to the laws of this country. There were fears the situation at Sherwood would degenerate to chaos similar to that which characterised mining operations at the Chiadzwa diamond fields.

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