Government has approved the deployment of special security operations to deter artisanal mining activities which has been destroying public infrastructure along the Beitbridge-Bulawayo Railway line.
Artisanal mining has been accused of being a major contributor to environmental degradation and pollution for they deliberately dig pits for miners.
Speaking at the post cabinet briefing, Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said government expresses grave concern at the threat of destruction of the country’s critical communications infrastructure and economic activities posed by the illegal and indiscriminate mining activities of illegal artisanal miners across all sectors of the economy.
In the area operated by the Bulawayo-Beitbridge Railway (Pvt) Ltd, artisanal miners had dug pits within the three metre radius of the railway line.
“This has the potential of weakening the railway infrastructure, leading to potential derailment and damage to the track. Cabinet approved the deployment of special security operations to deter artisanal mining activities along the Beitbridge-Bulawayo Railway line,” she said
Government has further directed that law enforcement be intensified in all areas and further security enhancement measures instituted to ensure that no further costly damage of strategic communications infrastructure and derailment of economic activity caused by illegal artisanal mining activity persists.
“Stiffer penalties will also be metted out on artisanal miners who engage in destructive illegal activities,” Mutsvangwa said.
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