SEVENTY-SEVEN illegal gold miners arrested at Jumbo Mine in Mazowe and Shamva early this week were yesterday sentenced to two years each by a Bindura magistrate.

The panners were nabbed during an on-going police blitz dubbed “Chikorokoza Ngachipere”.

Mashonaland Central acting police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Fidelis Dhewu confirmed the arrest and sentencing of the convicts.

“I can confirm that we have since arrested 257 illegal gold miners at Jumbo and Shamva, respectively. Seventy-seven of them pleaded guilty to prospecting for gold without licences and were sentenced to two years each,” he said.

- Advertisement -

“Among those arrested are four who were remanded in custody to tomorrow (today) for sentencing after pleading guilty to prospecting for gold without licences. Fifty-five pleaded not guilty to the same charge and were remanded in custody to January 17 for trial.”

Dhewu said six illegal vendors were also caught in the blitz and fined $100, while 112 people were arrested for criminal trespassing.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said 1 536 machete-wielding criminals have been arrested countrywide.