Zimbabwe Centre for Equal Opportunities (ZCEO) president Paddington Japa Japa has urged lawmakers to ensure that the Mines and Minerals Amendment law deals with insecurity in the mining sector that has been caused by machete gangs.
Machete gangs also known as Mashurungwi are a local insurgent group causing terror in mining communities.
The gangs have been accused of carrying out attacks in the rural neighborhoods, where they rob, kill, and maim people for mining claims and gold ore.
According to a report from Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) 105 people were killed and many others injured by machete gangs from August to November 2019.
Although the police subsequently arrested some members of the machete gangs in 2020 which led to a decrease in terror activities the menace continues in mining areas.
Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have warned that if the issue of machete gangs is not dealt with decisively then the mining sector may not meet the US$12 billion industry envisaged by the minister of finance.
Machete gangs cause insecurity
Speaking during a Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill public hearing held last week Japa Japa bemoaned the insecurity caused by the machete gangs and suggested that the new law should address the issue.
“In the mining sector there is no security, the issue of the machete gangs, this must be a priority.
“We have seen people being killed in the Midlands by machete gangs and some war loads in Midland declaring that the mining sector is a no go area.
“Therefore, I am proposing a committee with some members of parliament who are going to work with the police and army to deal with the issue of machete gangs,” he said.
The parliamentary committee on Mines and Mining Development held six public hearings across the country in a bid to solicit views from the public in regard to the Mines and Minerals Bill that was gazetted in February 2023.