From Blood Diamonds to Blood Gold – A report on machete violence in Zimbabwe’s ASM gold sector

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From Blood Diamonds to Blood Gold - A report on machete violence in Zimbabwe’s ASM gold sector

Shurugwi is a beautiful scenic town in Zimbabwe`s Midlands Province which sits on the famous mineral rich Great Dyke belt. A drive through the small town justifies why Zimbabweans believe their country is the most beautiful in the world. The Great Dyke, which is up to 8 miles wide and about 330 miles long, consists of several precious minerals which include gold, silver, chromium, platinum, and nickel. Other types of minerals include but not limited to mica, asbestos, and tin. It is almost as if Shurugwi enjoys an unfair advantage over other towns in Zimbabwe.

However, before the Covid-19 induced lockdown, the name Shurugwi was the subject of a violent narrative sweeping over the country’s mining sector; a phenomenon of terror synonymous with towns and communities where artisanal gold mining is done. Since then, Zimbabwe’s gold mining communities in particular, have been living in fear of terror gangs whose modus operandi is said to have originated in the Midlands Province, which is the place where Shurugwi is found.

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