35 people arrested on the outskirts of Bulawayo, police recover guns and ammunition

File pic

35 illegal gold miners were arrested in Bulawayo with police recovering guns and ammunition during a raid at Happy Valley Mine.

The raid by police, on the outskirts of Bulawayo, occurred yesterday where a pistol, a revolver, a shotgun and a rifle were recovered according to the police Twitter page.

“On 07/03/22, Police in Bulawayo arrested 35 illegal gold miners and recovered an Utas pistol with 20 rounds of ammunition, a Rossi revolver calibre .38SPL with 7 rounds, a Shotgun with 3 rounds, a 202 rifle with a magazine of 15 rounds, a compressor, 100m hose pipe, 2 shovels, wheelbarrows 2 manual pull system and a rubber bucket at Happy valley Mine,” posted the police.

Last year, gold panners invaded several suburbs in Bulawayo causing environmental degradation and raising security concerns.

Some of the suburbs affected by illegal gold mining include Mahatshula, Emhlangeni and Killarney.

The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) and police have been battling to rid the city of t gold panners who operate at night under the cover of darkness.

Mahatshula residents said they were now living in fear as some of the panners were digging pits close to their houses in search of the precious mineral.

In May last year, the National Railways of Zimbabwe said it was losing millions of dollars annually to gold panners, who vandalise its railway infrastructure while panning for gold.

Gold panners operating at Matopos Research Institute Farm were reported to be threatening international research work aimed at improving agriculture in Southern Africa and beyond.

Their activities are not only causing land degradation but are also affecting studies on crops and killing livestock.

Police have conducted several raids and arrested illegal gold miners but it seems this is not deterrent enough.

— Chronicle

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