THE Joint Operations Command (JOC) in Manicaland last week raided artisanal miners operating in gold-rich Odzi district to restore sanity following the death of four panners in bloody clashes at Odzi 1 and 2 mines.


In recent weeks, JOC has also raided illegal miners along Mutare River where alluvial gold mining is rampant.

Manicaland provincial mines director Omen Dube yesterday confirmed JOC’s intervention.

“We raided illegal miners in Odzi, especially after a recent incident where a miner was killed.
Police and the army invaded illegal miners in Odzi. I will be in office on Monday (today) so that we can conduct a meeting on how effective the operation was,” he said

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“We want this operation to be continuous because with the economic hardships, we are very aware that they (illegal miners) are going to come back again.

“We have done similar operations along Mutare River, where alluvial mining is rampant. You know that it’s easy to trap gold along Mutare River, so the miners need easy money.”

Acting provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Luxon Chananda confirmed the operation, but could not provide details.

Chananda said the programme was implemented by the district operations office.

“I can confirm that we carried out a joint operation with the Ministry of Mines, but I cannot provide details because this was a district operation, so I will also need to be apprised on the operation,” he said. “However, it is the mandate of the police to respond to any distress calls and ensure that there is peace in the country.”