Police and EMA remove illegal miners in Insiza

By Promise Dube

Police together with officials from the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) have evicted a group of illegal gold miners who had resettled and started mining in the Nhlangano area in Insiza.

Nhlangano is located at the confluence of Insiza and Mzingwane rivers and due to rampant illegal mining activity, the area was cordoned off two years ago by the government after environmental concerns raised by EMA.

However, illegal miners returned to the area in May and began excavating the covered pits by Mzingwane River.

In an interview with CITE, Insiza Ward three councillor Dumisani Mathuthu, welcomed the eviction of these illegal miners, saying he learnt at his last inspection that the miners had been removed by police and EMA officials.

“Locals around the area told me those miners were instructed to leave by the police. This was when I visited the area to see if the mining activities were still ongoing but I did not see them. That is a welcome development. There are no tents that show people staying there. However the pits were left uncovered,” said the councillor.

EMA Environmental Education Manager, Amkela Sidange, said that their team conducted investigations and discovered the illegal miners would come during the night to avoid detention.

“We called other stakeholders including the police who evicted them and confiscated their machinery,” she said.

Matabeleland South Provincial Police Spokesperson, Inspector Loveness Mangena,  confirmed the eviction of the illegal gold panners.

“I can confirm that police reacted to illegal gold panning activities along Umzingwane river and the area is now clean. We shall continue to monitor the activities,” she said.

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