Violent gold panners who are known as MaShurugwi reportedly told Mazowe villagers that they are untouchable, claiming to be linked to Minister of State Security Minister Owen Ncube.
An inter-ministerial task force including four ministers, Winston Chitando (Mines), Kazembe Kazembe (Information and Technology Communication), Fortune Chasi (Energy) and Monica Mutsvangwa (Information and Publicity) visited the area. A ZANU PF youth who spoke to NewsDay said:
We told the ministers that all the chaos in this province is being fuelled by top-ranking people linked to the machete-wielding artisanal miners.
The panners are terrorising the province, raping, robbing and murdering people. As Zanu PF youth, we retaliated last month and the chaos resulted in the burning of two commuter omnibuses which wanted to transport the MaShurugwi out of the province.
The MaShurugwi gold panners hail from the Midlands province, Minister Ncube’s home area. Violence involving the machete-wielding panners reportedly left three people dead over the past weekend.