Zimbabwe: CSO demands that gold from violent artisanal miners be banned to protect lives of citizens
Author: Lovejoy Mutongwiza, 263 Chat (Zimbabwe) , Published on: 14 January 2020
‘Zimbabwe: 'Ban Blood Gold From Machete-Wielding Mine Gangs' 9 January 2020
Heal Zimbabwe Trust Director Rashid Mahiya has proposed that gold from illegal and menacing machete-wielding gangs should be banned from the market as it creates wrong perception about the need to extract the precious mineral. The gangs, popularly known as Mashurugwi have been on a killing and violent crimes spree using machetes, axes, knobkerries and knives across the country amid fears that they are enjoying protection from the highest offices in the land.
Mahiya said the quest for gold has moved from being economical to a serious threat to human life where serious crimes are being committed under the guise of gold mining hence the need for the government and CSOs to have an engagement which will reduce the gold rush. "What is the value of gold when it is a threat to human life? After all, is the nation even benefitting from it or it's just a preserve for the elite. Where is the gold even being sold to, who is buying the gold from these gangs?
…Artisanal mining is believed to contribute more than 40% of all gold output in the country. "The president has the responsibility to make sure those that are going about their legal (mining) business are protected while those that do so illegally are brought before the courts. "You do not protect murderers under the pretext that they are improving the economy, that then explains why we should call it bloody gold," Mahiya further stated.