Machete wielding gold panners have become a cause for concern in the City of Kwekwe were they are vandalising water and sewer pipes using the water to clean their gold ore leaving the residents of Kwekwe exposed to water borne disease.
A considerable amount of money that could be channelled torwards developmental projects in Kwekwe is now being diverted to repairs of sewer pipes that are constantly being vandalised by artisanal miners in Amaveni.
The miners are mainly targeting sewer pipes as they believe sewer water has components that can clean their gold.
City Engineer John Mhike and Acting Kwekwe Town Clerk Lucia Mnkandla expressed concern at the level of infrastructure vandalism in the city which they said has left the entire community exposed to water borne diseases.
The makorokoza’s as they are commonly known are said to be hostile to the city engineers as they sometimes bar them from accessing the vandalised points.
Mnkandla also raised alarm over the continued vandalism of the water main line by people living at an illegal settlement near the city.
The settlement has been growing as thousands flock to Kwekwe in search of gold were they are erecting mud huts and have no access to any social amenities.
The shutting down of major companies such as Ziscosteel that used to employ thousands of people has seen youths moving in droves to nearby disused and insecure mine shafts at Globe and Phoenix to pan gold.