Gold rush intensifies machete wars in Zimbabwe

By Shakespeare Muzavazi
A Shurugwi resident Magistrate has promised stiffer penalties for artisanal miners who are behind the high rate of assault crimes in the mining town.

After sentencing two artisanal miners to 7 months imprisonment for vehemently assaulting their fellow miner with an axe and a machete, Magistrate Sangster Tavengwa said, all artisanal miners who resort to violence as a means to settle disputes deserve to rot in prison until they learn to solve disputes by non violent means.

“Most assault cases brought before this court involve artisanal gold miners; the miners have become the major perpetrators of violence in this town.
“We are going to see to it that those who resort to violence as a way to solve disputes are going to languish in prison until they learn to solve their issues amicably.
“Perpetrators of violence don’t deserve to live within society as they disturb the prevailing peace and tranquillity in the town.
“Artisanal miners should always find peaceful means of addressing their issues,” admonished Magistrate Tavengwa.

This comes after the Midlands police spokesperson Assistant inspector Ethel Mukwende announced a prohibition order on the carrying of dangerous weapons like machetes, catapults and spears, the order was put forward subsequent to the rampant assault and murder cases in Shurugwi and other mining towns