THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC), working with the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has embarked on an operation targeting illegal minerals and sand poachers in the city.
The city’s rangers have over the past years played a cat and mouse game with these poachers with some of them affecting the abstraction capacity of its supply dams after embark on their illegal activities.
According to the latest council report, over the past couple of weeks the local authority has issued 125 tickets to the poachers.
“The two-week blitz is still ongoing, during the exercise seven trucks, two scotch carts and 16 wheelbarrows were confiscated. During the monthly patrols 125 tickets were issues for various offences and a sum of $227 561was realised and 10 tickets have not been cleared with a sum of $17 310.
“A total of 175 truckloads of pit sand were recorded at the two pit sand sites and the sum of $51 902 was realised,” reads the report.
Relating to illegal mining activities, the local authority revealed that 59 illegal gold panners were
arrested and handed over to the police.
“Routine operations were conducted at upper Ncema and on the decommissioned uMzingwane dam. During these operations a total of 59 illegal gold panners were arrested and handed over to the ZRP Esigodini with their confiscated tools as an exhibit,” reads the report.