LOCAL leadership in Mberengwa have complained that gold panners are continuing to dig in the district’s largest cemetery near Anesu Gold C-Mine, describing the situation as shocking.
They said even after leaders told the panners to stop the disturbances at the grave site, rogue elements have vowed to continue digging.
Illegal gold panners have turned the districts largest cemetery near Anesu Gold C-Mine into desolation, living human remains exposed in search of gold.
Village head, Jaison Moyo said they have tried to talk to the artisanal miners, but efforts have been fruitless.
“The situation at C-Mine is now very serious to the extent that we as leaders of the area are left at a loss as to what we can do. We do not know what action to take next,” he said.
The cemetery is situated on land belonging to the gold mine, which was taken over by former Zanu PF spokesman, Rugare Gumbo, but since his dismissal from the party, the gold panners are reluctant to listen to his counsel on not mining at the grave site.
“If you tell them to stop digging the graves they will tell you that Gumbo is no longer in charge and there is nothing we can do,” an exasperated Moyo said.
He said they had tried to seek help from the police, but this was not helpful at all.
“The police have tried to stop the cemetery invasions, but the gold panners are really hard to control,” he said.
Chief Bvute said the gold panners should at least respect the dead and seek permission from village elders.
“There should be a cleansing ceremony to be conducted and appease the dead buried at that cemetery,” he said. “If not, the situation may bring misfortune to our people here in Mberengwa.”
A man from Zvishavane is reported to have had a vision of large gold deposits at the cemetery, before proceeding there on a treasure hunt.
He is reported to have unearthed 3kg of gold, triggering a massive gold rush that has seen panners destroy the gravesite and nearby farmland.