The government of Zimbabwe has roped in the Zimbabwe Republic Police, to help them drive out a troop of illegal gold miners (Makorokoza) who have invaded Chimanimani National Park, the Daily News reports.
Makorokoza are reportedly cutting down trees and polluting the river with chemicals in the area and the public has complained about the activities being carried out by the illegal gold panners.
This was revealed by The Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu who said:
The rate of environmental destruction that is taking place is really disturbing. It is also within a national park and what we have done is to deploy teams together with law enforcement agencies who as we speak are on the ground and should be able to stop the illegal activity taking place there.
We are also putting resources there with the Environmental Management Agency (Ema) to ensure that we support the continued police presence in the area. We are in discussions with the police to ensure that we are able to protect those areas for a sustained period,
It’s possible that there could be a syndicate of rangers promoting the illegal mining activities but if we are ever going to deal with corruption … we need to continuously encourage our citizenry to come on board and report such matters to the police.
I have seen the videos of the illegal mining activities on social media and I have since asked ZimParks to ensure that the work there is done without any interference. So, there will be temporary reshuffling of staff. They will be moved to other areas to make sure our investigations are carried out without interference.
Those found mining illegally and those who have engaged in corrupt activities will be arrested. There are no two ways about it, but the rate of destruction is quite alarming. I am told that a mountain there has been dug right across. It is quite unfortunate
This came a few short days after it headlined that the government granted some Chinese companies mining concessions in Game Parks.