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Zim women miners vulnerable to machete gangs

By Lucy Tandi – Friday 16th July 2021

LOCAL – HARARE (Mining Index) – MASHONALAND Central, Midlands and Matebeleland South provinces top the list of provinces rampant in violent gang attacks, also affecting artisanal and small-scale miners who have lost gold, gold ore, cash, dislocated from their productive gold sites and watched their relatives being murdered by the violent gangs.

Jane Lusinga, a female gold miner, also former chairperson of the Women in Mining, Bubi District, Matebeleland North province, revealed some of the challenges women face during mining.

‘Women are given names, harassed by police, occasional terror from the machete gangs while insults are our daily bread,’

‘On daily operations, we get unsolicited visits from thugs, a scary development as they have a tendency to follow miners to their homes or in town,’ she said.

Mthandazo Women Miners Association Trust founder and chairperson Sithembile Ndlovu also revealed that mining operations owned by a number of Zimbabwean female miners are being targeted by machete gangs.

Male counterparts have also reportedly chased women miners from their claim, leading to women miners constantly living in fear of losing their claims and their lives.

‘We do not have any protection and some of our members are losing their claims. To make matters worse stakeholders in the mining sector do not communicate effectively with women in mining,” said Ndlovu.

In April this year, a 34-year-old Shamva female artisanal miner was robbed US$3 500 to armed robbers.

According to Mashonaland Central provincial police spokesperson Inspector Milton Mundembe, one of the gang members had a pistol, while two others were wielding machetes. ENDS//

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