Itai Muzondo in Zvishavane
14 April 2017, ZVISHAVANE – There is serious trouble at the recently re-opened Sabi Gold Mine as informal gold miners (makorokoza), who had thrived on the 30-months-long closure of the mine, are now fiercely resisting losing their space.
Armed clashes between mine security personnel and the informal miners are continuing with several casualties having been recorded.
Deputy Minister of Mines Fred Moyo confirmed that several people had died in the fights at the mine.
"The story at Sabi is very sad considering that the mine had been closed for 30 months after which we managed to get a new investor. There are reports of illegal miners who had been looting from the mine during the time it was closed and when the mine reopened, they still want to stick to their practices.
"The report I am holding says illegals are throwing explosives at security details from the mine. Gunshots are even being fired in mining shafts; the kind of violence we are condemning in the Midlands' mining sector," Moyo said.
Mine manager Sithole said the mine had engaged the parent ministry to register the informal traders so that they provide them with gold claims.
"Violence is a challenge we are facing and we have since engaged the police who are doing constant checks at the mine. As Sabi, we do not want to operate that way because the five million capital injection will be under threat.
"In trying to resolve the challenge, we have engaged the ministry to register all those who want to go into the formal mining business so that we give them space to operate from which is out of our boundaries," Sithole said.local,topnews