KADOMA – Two machete wielding teenage illegal gold panners were arrested by police together with two others after allegedly attacking and robbing a fellow panner of US$300 cash and 1.5 grams of gold.
Police said through their Twitter handle Saturday that they have arrested the suspects in connection with the crime.
“On 17/02/23, police in Kadoma swiftly reacted to a report of robbery and arrested Justin Cheza (18), Wonder Nyambili (19), Aaron Mandondo (20) and Notice Gondo (32) for attacking the complainant before stealing US$ 300 cash and 1.5 grams of amalgam gold at Plot 22, Simington Farm Patchway.
“The other ten suspects who were armed with machetes, catapults, an axe, knives and logs fled from the scene upon seeing the police. The arrest led to the recovery of two machetes,” police said.
Violent crime is common in the country’s gold mining areas as panners often butcher each other using machetes while fighting for gold claims or to seize gold from others.
The attacks have also targeted ordinary citizens who are often robbed with women and girls also raped by the gangs.
Derisively known as Makorokoza (panners) or Mashurugwi, the panners use machetes as their main weapon.