Zimbabwe: Illegal Miners' Arrests Top 2 500

11 February 2020

At least 206 more illegal miners were arrested over the weekend, bringing to 2 529 the number nabbed countrywide under the ongoing "Operation Chikorokoza Ngachipere/No to Machete Gangs".

The operation was launched early last month to thwart violence and illegal mining activities.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the operation will continue until normalcy returns.

"The cumulative number of people who have been arrested in the ongoing operation against illegal mining activities and machete gangs has risen to 2 529," he said.

Most of the new arrests were made in Odzi, Jumbo Mine and Shamva.

He said in Odzi police arrested illegal miners who had invaded a farm and caused serious land degradation.

"We will continue moving in swiftly to all parts of the country where there are machete gangs, illegal miners, selling and dealing in drugs, among other nefarious activities.

"We continue to urge the public to fully cooperate with the police during these operations," Asst Comm Nyathi said.

He urged people to continue supplying police with information that will lead to the arrest of machete gangs.

ZRP has been arresting illegal miners countrywide and last week, 63 illegal miners were arrested in Mashonaland Central.

Police impounded three vehicles carrying gold ore and recovered compressors and generators in the Kitsiyatota, Garati and Makusha mining areas.

Prostitution and drug abuse within mining areas were also on the increase, prompting police to move in and restore law and order.

Since January 1, a total of 1 621 illegal gold miners have been arrested in Mazowe and Shamva, the epicentre of much illegal activity, under the blitz.

About 30 arrests were made under "Operation No to Dangerous Weapons", while 55 mills, 54 generators, 47 water pumps, nine machetes and 447 sticks of explosive were recovered.

Police are also making use of information communication technologies to curb criminal activities which are becoming more sophisticated.

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