BY SIMBARASHE SITHOLE
VICE-PRESIDENT Constantino Chiwenga has warned machete-wielding artisanal miners who are terrorising communities and other miners that they will face the full wrath of the law.
Addressing a handful of people at the International Day of Co-operatives in Bindura yesterday, the Vice-President said he was back and healthy and would ensure that machete-wielding illegal miners were brought to book.
“I would like to thank you all for praying for me during my sickness. Let me assure you that I am back and very much healthy,” Chiwenga said.
“As government, we are saying no to machete-wielding miners, hatidi mabhemba (we don’t want machetes)! Let me repeat, no to machete-wielding miners. The law will descend heavily on (the rogue) artisanal miners. We cannot afford to have illegal miners wreaking havoc in the country,” Chiwenga said.
He urged illegal miners to join co-operatives and regularise their operations in a bid to develop the nation.
“The government recognises the existence of artisanal miners and we are urging them to join co-operatives so that the country moves forward in the mining sector,” Chiwenga added.
The VP also told the gathering that hunger is stalking the nation due to a poor harvest and Mashonaland Central province, formerly the bread basket of the country, has not been spared.
“I was briefed by the Minister of State for Mashonaland Central (Monica Mavhunga) that hunger has tormented the province. Yes, we know hunger is there and as the government, we have formed a committee being spearheaded by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sibusiso Moyo, Minister of Agriculture, Perrance Shiri and Minister of Finance, Mthuli Ncube, who are busy sourcing for food aid and weekly, the country is receiving food,” he said.
“Let me also assure you that no one will starve under the new dispensation. The government is working flat out to see to it that everyone is fed.”
Chiwenga also said: “We were also told that many schools in Mt Darwin, Muzarabani and Mbire are like fowl runs and should be prioritised because education is key, that is where our future leaders are learning. The government has taken note of that.”