Machete wielding gold panners in Kwekwe’s Amaveni and Mbizo suburbs have turned the area into a war zone through a spate of violence that has so far claimed five lives.
Several other people are nursing injuries sustained during the attacks as rival gold panner gangsters fight for control of mineral rich mines.
Just like a clip from violent movies involving the mafia or gangster wars, open fights and machete wielding panners chasing each other on the streets in broad daylight has become a common feature in Amaveni.
Last week one of the gang leaders, Washington Dick was stabbed 19 times in broad day light in the city centre as people watched helplessly while others scurried for cover.
The suspect is said to be freely roaming the streets of Amaveni. Law abiding youths say security must be beefed up and failure to do so will see them taking the law into their own hands as they fight back.
The closure of major companies such as Ziscosteel where thousands of people used to be employed has seen many youths moving in droves to nearby disused and insecure mine shafts at Globe and Phoenix for gold panning.
It is suspected that at any given time, there are more than 5000 illegal miners underground at Globe and Phoenix mines.