28,000 gold panners arrested in Zim over the last three months. Does anyone care?

Zimbabwe has destroyed their economy by confiscating the large, efficient mainly white owned farms that provided much of the food that fed the urban areas and provided much of their exports.

Then they destroyed the slums and small vendors in the cities under “operation cleanup”.

So now that the government has destroyed it’s major export, what is it doing? Confiscating mines of course, their second largest source of foreign currency.

Well, why not? They already wrecked the agricultural economy by confiscating farms and giving them to cronies, or to local farmers who lacked the knowledge and were left without the means to do productive farming (i.e. handplows, petrol, high yield seed, expertise in irrigation for drought years, fertilizer). So why not confiscate mines from those who invested money into them and know what they are doing and give it to your cronies?

Indeed, the inflation/currancy problems led to the inability to get spare parts or pay miners, so gold output last year fell.

But the linked article shows another “cleanup” that should please the ecology minded, but is another terrible blow to poor people at the bottom of the heap: it notes “Over 28,000 people have been arrested on charges of illegal diamond and gold mining in an operation dubbed Chokorokoza Chapera (No Illegal Panning), which started in mid-November to curb the country of illegal mining activities as the country.’
.Miners dig for diamonds in Marange, Zimbabwe (file picture)

Oh yes. Just like illegal vendors and unclean/unsafe slum housing were cleaned up with “operation cleanup”, the pollution/ecological degradation from these small panning/mining is terrible. But in a country with 80% unemployment, and 1600% inflation, some people see it as the only way to feed their famiies, explains the BBC .

Now, here in the Philippines, illegal logging has led to terrible ecological problems, but on the other hand, if you are poor, you are more worried about feeding your family today than if your grandchildren will have mudslides and ugly landscapes to cope with.

So the slide of Zimbabwe from a showcase of prosperity into another Marxist showcase of how to wreck an economy continues.

And since Mugabe, the president, is a revolutionary hero, South Africa and other African countries oppose any intervention by the UK to stop the tyranny.

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Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her webpage is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket. She blogs about Human rights abuse in Zimbabwe at MugabeMakaipa Blog.

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