ZANU PF created the notorious machete-wielding artisanal miners who have wreaked havoc across the country by liberalising the mining sector, a ruling party MP has said.
Last week, President Emmerson Mnangagwa publicly tasked Chegutu West MP Dexter Nduna (Zanu PF), to end the chaos in the artisanal mining sector, raising speculation that the parliamentarian was responsible for the machete wars that have unsettled the country.
Norton legislator Temba Mliswa (Independent) claimed Nduna was exposed and denounced by Mnangagwa at a function in Norton on Friday, where he was “implicated” in the machete problem.
But speaking to NewsDay yesterday, Nduna, however, said he had lobbied in Parliament for the artisanal miners to operate freely and take their gold to Fidelity Printers and Refiners without being criminalised, but admitted that there were some criminal elements using machetes in the process.
He said that there was an unsigned truce between government and artisanal miners for them to mine wherever they want as long as they take their gold to Fidelity.
As a result, Nduna said, the artisanal miners were operating freely even in claims they do not own and admitted this could have led some of them to engage in criminal activities. The Chegutu West MP said he was in 2018 introduced at a campaign rally by Mnangagwa as “mukorokoza mukuru” because he was lobbying for them to be recognised.
Nduna has been quick to portray the Machete gangs as small scale miners that are being wronged by government. Nduna feels these gangs have a right to fight for gold mines from legitimate owners just like lands. He is the instigator of violence and chaos in the gold belt.