Judge warns illegal panners against weapons

High Court judge Maxwell Takuva has issued a stern warning to illegal gold-panners who commit offences using dangerous weapons. The judge has said courts will issue lengthy prison sentences as a deterrent.

The judge made the statement while delivering a 22-year prison sentence to a Lower Gweru illegal gold-panner who fatally stabbed a barman for telling him that he could not buy beer at the bottle store because they had run out.

“Gold-panners should immediately desist from the habit of using dangerous weapons like knives each time they feel angered by other citizens. Such actions are inherently wicked and the courts should join societies in fighting them,” said the judge.

“In cases like these, the gold-panners take the lives of defenceless citizens who have not provoked them at all. Accordingly, stiffer penalties should now be given to such gold-panners who take law into their own hands.”

There have been a number of cases before Gweru magistrates recently, Machetes, axes, knives and drill-bits had been used in a string of assaults.

Last year, riot police had to be deployed to Boterekwa Mountain in Shurugwi where the illegal gold-panners had invaded the area and were robbing motorists at night using dangerous weapons.

Several murder cases were reported in Sherwood over the same period. In these cases, illegal panners were killed in disputes over gold.

Post published in: News

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