Zimbabwe Republic Police have banned all illegal gold mining activities in the country with immediate effect in response to the murder of a police officer, Constable Wonder Hokoyo by machete gangs.
The ban was announced by Commissioner General of Police Godwin Matanga on Wednesday. In a statement, Matanga said:
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.
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.
Many observers have for long been calling for action on illegal miners, particularly machete gangs known as Mashurugwi or Al Shabab who have been killing and robbing other miners and the general public.
More: Zim Morning Post