Miners do not need to carry machetes and police will ensure the weapons are not carried in public, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe has said.
Addressing hundreds of Zanu PF supporters in Mazowe Central at 2018 election victory celebrations for Ward 10 councillor Cde Chakabvepi Chinhema, Minister Kazembe said mining activities should be carried within the confines of the law.
“If you have a machete, go and bury it underground because the police will leave no stone unturned to make sure that machetes have disappeared from the people,” he said.
“People should be organised and carry out their mining activities with respect of the law. Where is this butchering coming from? So, I say if there are those here with machetes be warned that the long arm of the law will catch up with you soon.”
Cde Kazembe condemned attacks on the police by machete gangs.
“There is no way you can run and hide from the law here in Zimbabwe, it could be just for a short while, but you will be definitely caught,” he said.
“As I speak, those who killed the police officer, nine of them have since been arrested and we are only left with a few and they are going to be caught.
“When the police are on duty, let them perform their mandate. Do not harass them.”
Meanwhile, two Guruve artisanal miners drowned in Dande River while running away from security guards chasing them at Eureka Gold Mine.
Mashonaland Central provincial police spokesperson Inspector Milton Mundembe confirmed the incident which claimed the lives of Learnmore Muroiwa and Moses Thomas.
“We urge our citizens to respect the rule of law and we discourage artisanal miners to go to other premises for mining,” he said.
“They should prospect their own mines and gain necessary paperwork from the ministry.
“As police, will not tolerate cases of theft or violence by artisanal miners and we will make sure that the law has been applied successfully.”