The melee wars that took place over the last two years in the Kwekwe mining town in the Midlands province have so far killed 14 people and hurt more than 100 people so far, the government has confirmed.
Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Mike Madiro told yesterday to Parliament that the deaths involved artisan miners who often have conflicts over mining demands, leading to their mutual attack with dangerous weapons.
"The use of the machetes has indeed led to many lives and hurt many, with 14 people who have died so far since January 2017, and another 101 have suffered varying degrees of injury," Madiro said in a a response written in a question by MDC Mbizo, Chikwinya Settlement Lawmaker.
Madiro showed that the police have since arrested seven suspects who were in court before, in connection with the assassinations.
"The use of the Kwekwe machetes has been associated with artisanal miners who are struggling for transactional differences, as well as with the disputes over mines arising from double assignment of claims by the ministry," he said.
The minister also suggested that the other possible cause of fatal violence by artisan miners was alcohol and drug use. In the past two years, Kwekwe residents lived in fear, while gold panners, operating in the mines around the city, unleashed a reign of terror, who were harassing each other to death in the light of the day.
As recent as September this year, a gold panner was killed with cold blood in the intersection class of Kwekwe after a misunderstanding. The police confirmed the murder of the Moyo Commentary in the village of Zhula, Vulamachena, who was stabbed five times with a seven-member Okapi suspected knife.
The crime scene report showed that Moyo, who was in the company of his 18-year-old brother Obert, and Macdonald, 24, drinks beer to kidnap Judith when a fight broke out.
The report indicates that Moyo was stabbed five times, twice on his left shoulder, once on the left elbow, and twice on his back, killing him instantly.
Last year, the police had to fire warning strikes to disperse a group of shepherds who wore models that followed their counterparts accusing them of stealing the gold ore.
Violence is not limited to the city center, as it has spread to residential areas such as Amaveni.