Residents in the city told The Zimbabwean that clashes reminiscent of ethnic fights in West Africa started at Gaika, a disused mine outside the city of Kwekwe where local panners were accusing panners from Zhombe of being MDC supporters and encroaching their territory.
The residents said the local panners, most of whom are Zanu (PF) supporters, became jealous of their more experienced Zhombe counterparts.
As a campaign gimmick, Zanu (PF) has allowed hordes of youths, widely known as Magweja to set up panning villages in and around the city.
The clashes, which spilled into the citys volatile Amaveni township, are said to have lasted for two days. One of the clashes victims, Trust Nembire, is said to have suffered broken ribs and was ferried to Gweru General Hospital.
The situation was very tense and nasty. The gold panners who were armed with an assortment of weapons such as chains, stones and iron rods, were just pouncing on anyone whom they suspected to be a foreigner in the area. This mining terrorism surely should come to an end, said a resident.
During the past few months, several panners have been killed in gold claim fights while others have been trapped underground owing to poor safety standards.Post published in: News