Cabinet has set up an inter-ministerial committee comprising Ministries of Home Affairs, State Security, Defence and Mines and Mining Development to deal with resurgent cases of murder using machetes as panners scramble for gold.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa said there were rampant cases of cold-blooded murder by machetes and fierce fights among gold miners in Matabeleland South, Midlands and Masvingo provinces.
He said a Cabinet committee comprising Ministries of Home Affairs, State Security, Defence and Mines and Mining Development had been tasked to restore sanity in the gold mining sector.
"We received a report of increasing murder cases by machetes and running battles in the gold mining sector. Gold miners are said to be killing each other and fighting in the scramble for gold. This is according to a report from the State security and they showed us pictures of people who had been killed and sliced by machetes in these running battles," said Mr Chidhakwa.
"I say stop the violence forthwith.
"Miners are now threatening our peace which we have enjoyed since Independence. We have a Cabinet committee, which was set up to ensure that the violence stops. My ministry, together with Home Affairs, State Security, Defence Ministries, will be working together to stamp out this menace," he said.
Said Minister Chidhakwa: "These cases are rampant in Matabeleland South, Midlands and Masvingo provinces. There are also reports of these murders and killings in Mashonaland West and Central provinces."
In Kwekwe, more than 10 people were killed in running illegal gold miners' battles, with the latest being a gold miner who died after he was attacked by machetes and swords by six armed robbers who pounced at Jojo Gold Mine on the outskirts of Kwekwe.
The robbers got away with gold ore.