ZHOMBE: Illegal gold miners in Zhombe, Midlands Province are unleashing violent youth gangs on each other, with local police and the community leaders admitting they are overwhelmed by the violence.
Local business people and residents said they are terrified after the violence erupted near Empress Mine business center on Sunday, less than 24 hours after Zhombe district police had addressed the community against machete violence.
In the violence that hit the area on Sunday, one victim had a spear piercing into his chest and he barely could breathe as he wobbled into a local hospital at Zhombe Growth Point.
The victim, a resident of Bhamala Village some 15km from Empress Mine, was caught up in the violence as he and his syndicate fought a rival gang for the control of an unregistered gold claim, villagers say.
“All this is happening amid our efforts to encourage youths not to resort to violence when they get into a misunderstanding. This happened merely a few hours after the local Chief and police had addressed the community to shun violence.
“Most families are now living in fear as most people who resort to this violence are aliens, not from our place, and would have come in the quest for gold. The most disappointing part is that instead of us benefiting from resources being extracted from our area, we are being attacked and we are living in fear like earlier highlighted,” said a local councilor who refused to be identified for fear of victimization.
Police said they had not yet received any information leading to the sad circumstances that took place on the day.
The attacks however continue to persist amid a ban on dangerous weapons by Midlands police recently.
The ban was initiated as a measure to curb increasing gang violence.