By Simbarashe Sithole
Zanu PF has ordered its supporters to stop attacking artisanal miners from the Midlands province, popularly known as Mashurugwi, following a recent incident in which two kombis, houses and other infrastructure were destroyed in Glendale and Bindura by youths seeking to eject the illegal miners.
The party’s Mashonaland Central chairperson Kazembe Kazembe on Monday led a delegation comprising the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), Mazowe district administrator Mark Kadaira, chiefs and three legislators which toured Tsungubvi business centre to assess the damage before addressing residents.
Kazembe said lawlessness was rampant in Mazowe district due to illegal mining and people should respect the sanctity of life and let police do their work by reporting crime.
“The upsurge of criminal activities is uncalled for. I grew up in this neighbourhood and nothing of this so-called unrest ever happened. Why are you killing, raping, robbing and attacking each other yet we are the people of the same country? This habit of calling each other on tribal grounds should stop,” he said.
“If there is a crime committed, go and report to the police. That is what they are here for.”
He emphasised the need to stop the attacks and illegal mining, especially at Mazowe Mine, popularly known as Jumbo, where a lot of artisanal miners are dying due to various reasons.
However, MDC Mashonaland Central accused Zanu PF of fuelling the clashes and at the same time trying to get political mileage from the crisis.
MDC provincial chairman George Gwarada said the opposition party was never invited to the so-called stakeholders meeting and, instead, it was the Ministry of Mines which was supposed to call for a meeting.
“Why should Zanu PF lead the meeting in the first place? We are very sure that they caused this situation to gain political mileage. Who does not know that they lead cartels of illegal mining?,” Gwarada asked.
According to police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, 12 suspects were arrested following the violent clashes in the province.