Illegal Gold Panners Threaten Shurugwi Road Near Boterekwa
Illegal gold panning activities have severely damaged the road along Fernie Creek Pass (Boterekwa escarpment) near Shurugwi, in the Midlands Province.
The road is on the verge of collapse after illegal gold panners in the area dug a 15-metre-deep and seven-metre-wide cross-cutting tunnel underneath the road resulting in part of the highway caving in.
The damage to the road is posing a threat to motorists travelling between Zvishavane and Gweru and haulage trucks travelling to Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania through Gweru from South Africa.
According to the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) Midlands provincial manager Benson Bhasera, this is the second time that the road has been damaged by gold panners since 2011.
Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Ndavaningi Nick Mangwana said work had started to rehabilitate the road.