Editorial comment: Arrest of gold panners a good move

THE arrest and prosecution of 65 gold panners, who invaded a police farm in Mazowe, was a very good move by our law enforcement officers.

The illegal miners’ actions show that we still have people who don’t respect the laws of the land.

Their guts to invade Lowdale Police Farm shows they can do anything to try and scratch a dollar here and a penny there.

Extracting minerals without licences is criminal and what these 65 accused persons did was wrong and that is why they were arrested and have now appeared in court.

Some of these daring illegal minerals have even invaded school yards in search of the precious mineral.

Illegal gold panners are not only dangerous to the environment but they are also violent.

The police should be applauded for their decision to confront and arrest them because, in doing so, they showed them that their violence doesn’t give them the pass to do as they want in this country.

Zimbabwe has got laws and these laws should be respected by everyone in this country, including these gold panners.

Some of them boast of being well-connected to powerful figures in society but we know that a lot of these claims are without any substance.

We know that they are just trying to give an impression that they are well protected when this is usually not the case.

And, we won’t be surprised that among those who were nabbed, there are many who used to sing this chorus that they are untouchables.

That they are well connected and their so-called powerful connections will ensure that the law does not touch them.

Well, the law reminded them that they are not special and now they are facing the music.

While the gold panners have the right to benefit from the country’s mineral wealth, they should operate legally.

Mining is a very dangerous industry and, without regulations to protect the miners, we could have serious disasters across the country.

That is why it’s important for the authority to enforce the laws and ensure that all the regulations, especially those that guarantee the safety of the miners, are respected.

You don’t find all that among the gold panners.

In the Midlands, some daring illegal miners have been encroaching on schoolyards in search of precious minerals.

The same applies to the 65 illegal miners in Mazowe who invaded the police farm in search of gold ore.

Kudos go to the police for their actions because we can’t afford to continue folding our hands while the illegal miners continue to be a nuisance.

The only advice we can give them is to register and ensure that they are not violating the laws of the land.

The responsible Ministry should also educate all miners on the procedures to take when they want to extract minerals.

The extraction of minerals should be done in an orderly manner for the benefit of everyone.

The regulatory authorities should be firm and flush out illegal miners.

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