By SIMBARASHE SITHOLE
OPPOSITION MDC in Mashonaland Central province have claimed that the warring machete wielding artisanal miners in the province are under Zanu pf ticket as it payback time after president Emmerson Mnangagwa allegedly couped the late former president Robert Mugabe.
MDC’s provincial chairman George Gwarada blasted a high powered delegation of three ministers who visited Mazowe mine and Eureka mine on Wednesday to check on the state of the mines.
“We know that illegal miners who are causing terror in this province are under Zanu pf leadership, today (Wednesday) three ministers that is Minister of mines Winston Chitando, minister of energy Fortune Chasi and minister of information and publicity Monica Mutsvngwa visited the homes of artisanal miners that is Mazowe and Eureka what for yet we all know that Zanupf leaders are behind the machete wielding gold panners,” Gwarada said.
Mazowe mine popularly known as Jumbo is now the hub of illegal miners and some alleged Zanu pf politicians are sponsoring them.
“It is now pay back for Mnangagwa regime after removing Mugabe surely how can the police and the army fail to control artisanal miners who use machetes and concentrate on unarmed protesters, the reason is that some Zanu pf officials are sponsoring the illegal miners,”
“If you trace from Mnangagwa’s cabinet we have the minister of State Security Owen Ncube aka Mudha who is the God father of artisanal miners (Mashurugwi) , the same Mashurugwi are the ones causing unrest in the province by killing, raping and robbing people,” he said.
Contacted for comment the Zanu pf provincial chairperson Kazembe Kazembe who led a stakeholders meeting in Glendale and Bindura recently after their youths attacked Mashurugwi and allegedly burnt two commuter omnibuses in Glendale and destroying houses and furniture in Bindura said his party does not condone abuse of authority.
“As a party we do not condone abuse of authority and if such cases are taking place as we ask those with information or evidence to report to the police, we also need to be wary of criminals who abuse names of senior party officials to instil fear in their victims,” Kazembe said.
Some of the artisanal miners who spoke in confidentiality hailed president Mnangagwa for allowing them to mine unlike Mugabe who arrested them.
“As artisanal miners we support president Mnangagwa because he allows us to mine unlike in the former president’s regime one would face arrest if found with the precious mineral,”said the source.
Meanwhile, in Guruve war veterans are accused of using their district party vehicle in harassing mine owners and demanding gold ore and money while two Central Intelligence Operatives were seen mobilising illegal miners who invaded Ashly Makara gold mine in Kachatuta two months ago, the incident has caused divisions between the president’s office and the police in Guruve district.
The police are also accused of illegally mining and accepting bribes to allow artisanal miners to mine in both Mazowe and Eureka.
Apparently 11 police officers who were guarding Mazowe mine last month are facing a murder case after allegedly receiving US$120 to allow artisanal miners in the mine and subsequently assulting the now deacesed in trying to recover the alleged missing gold ore.