Parliament of Zimbabwe has launched an investigation on the origins and operations of machete-wielding gangs causing havoc mainly in gold mining areas in Zimbabwe amid reports that the country is losing millions of dollars in potential revenue.
According to the Mines and Mining Development Parliamentary Committee chairperson, Edmond Mkaratigwa, the gangs, well-known as Mashurugwi (people from Shurugwi), are also invading urban areas where they are robbing and killing innocent people.
Mkaratigwa says the marauding gangs have so far killed several people, including Constable Wonder Hokoyo and gold buyer, Marko Dube.
“The committee is perplexed by the rampant killings going on in the mining sector and as elected representatives of the people, parliament will not remain silent on the issue. Within its mandate, parliament and government shall work to ensure that punitive measures are put in place, as it affects our major resource and reduces the market space by tainting of our minerals.
“They are a danger to society, taking into consideration the impact these gold panning gangs have on the social, cultural and economic spheres of Zimbabwe. The committee, through its constitutional obligation, is reaffirming fully its participation against the illegal activities being carried out by the gold panning gangs.”
Reports say police on Wednesday arrested at least 14 members of a gang operating at Jumbo Mine in Mashonaland Central region that had 11 machetes and other dangerous materials.
The state-controlled Herald newspaper reports that the gang also had 423 sticks of explosives, four rows of copper wire and nine hammer mills.