The Nexus Between Mining and Violence Towards 2023 Elections
The study investigates and analyses the linkages between mining, human rights abuses, political and electoral violence in Zimbabwe.
Using a combination of desk research, in-depth interviews, and focus group discussions, it explores in detail the phenomenon of machete gangs connected to artisanal mining in Bindura, Kadoma and Kwekwe. While artisanal and small-scale mining (ASSM) has provided significant socio-economic opportunities for communities, the emergence of machete gangs associated with gold rushes and how these have evolved over time has created a toxic situation. Machete gangs emerged initially as groups of artisanal miners, commonly referred to as makorokoza, fought for control and access of gold rush sites, but over time have taken on a rather complex character.
Evidence gathered in this research raises several red flags from the perspective of community safety and security, human rights, and prospects for a free and fair 2023 general election.