POLICE have with immediate effect banned all illegal gold mining activities across the country following the callous murder of a police officer in Kadoma last week and a high increase in violent clashes among artisanal miners.
Two men have since been arrested in connection with the murder of Constable Wonder Hokoyo last Saturday at Good Hope Mine in Battlefields, Kadoma.
In a statement Wednesday, Commissioner General of Police Godwin Matanga said any deviation from the police’s directive would result in immediate arrest.
Matanga added the police had engaged the Mines Ministry to deal with rising cases mining disputes.
“All miners who are engaged in illegal mining activities should stop doing so and ensure that before they mine, they obtain the relevant licence or permit to do so in terms of the laws of the country,” Matanga said.
“Any deviation from this will result in such miners being arrested. The Zimbabwe Republic Police is also working with other stakeholders to ensure that incidences of gold rush in several parts of the country are swiftly dealt with.
“My office will ensure that police deployments in mining areas are influenced by the need to protect and preserve life and property. My office will therefore not stand by and allow unruly elements to attack police officers.
“We have also engaged the Ministry of Mines to ensure that all mining disputes, disused and decommissioned mines are monitored and measures put in place to curtail illegal mining activities,” Matanga said.
Illegal mining in Zimbabwe has been rampant for years with senior Zanu PF officials accused of backing the artisanal miners for personal gains. The Zanu PF government has also come under fire for ignoring illegal mining because that is where it garners votes during elections.