Stephen Mpofu, Opinion
Recent reports about villagers spending nights in crop fields and cemeteries after being hounded out of their homes by itinerate gold hunters in Matabeleland South province and with houses of other villagers in Mberengwa district developing cracks as a result of blasts caused by gold hunters, are wont at first sight to make people in far away countries wonder if Zimbabwe is under attack by political dissidents.
Worse still, the reports, as published in this newspaper last Saturday, might make potential foreign investors tighten their purse-strings afraid of frittering away their hard earned cash to a country that they are made to believe by such reports to be lawless.
But of course, Zimbabwe is a lawful country with those who use satanic wisdom to try to fill their own bellies being counted on one hand – and the illegal gold hunters in this discourse are a typical example of people who thumb their noses at divine wisdom in their desperation to get rich.
That the gold hunters causing mayhem in Chief Malungwane’s area in uMzingwane district, Matabeleland South province, are reported by their victims to be using metal detectors owned by the police in their hunt for the yellow metal in their raids from mountains where they hibernate, will not fail to cast suspicion among the law-abiding citizens to the effect that those guardians of the law and its enforcers are deeply involved in the illegal hunt for gold.
Which will persuade any law-abiding Zimbabwean to come to the conclusion that only the military wherewithal will end the rot in the area under siege and pave the way for proper mining of the gold with potential foreign investors sinking in their capital to help in our country’s economic revival towards achieving a middle income economy by the year 2030.
The good news in the case of houses developing cracks caused by gold hunters’ blasts in Chief Matarutse’s area in the Midlands is that efforts are reportedly now underway to regularise the mining of the gold recently discovered in that area with officials from Gweru, the provincial headquarters, being actively involved and therefore giving off huge prospects of job creation for people in the area to benefit through job creation for their God-given natural endowment which has remained pulsating underground for years while the people suffered want.
It should obviously be prudent for our Government to ensure that any foreign investor to mine the gold is partnered by Zimbabweans to ensure that there is a good monetary return to this country from sales of the metal for it to be used to develop our country further.
As a matter of fact, our country is largely endowed with various minerals including oil and gas, all of which should help in the full resuscitation of an economy ravaged by Western imperialism’s economic sanctions imposed as a reprisal for the armed struggle that liberated us from racist foreign rule and re-united us with our stolen land.
Back to Matabeleland South where the illegal gold hunters swoop down on lawful villagers, like hawks on chickens in courtyards – why do mining ministry officials remain ensconced in cosy seats in their air-conditioned offices instead of getting off their backsides to end the chaos in uMzingwane once and for all?
Curiosa and curiosa.