Thirty six wrongly accused persons arrested under the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP)’s operation against illegal mining in Bindura were freed after the court established there was no evidence to support further remand.
The dragnet operation entitled, ‘Mashurugwi/Chikorokoza ngachipere’ / ‘Illegal miners: Bring an End to Illegal Gold Mining’ resulted in the arrest of several people with some being wrongly accused.
The alleged offences included criminal trespass, prospecting for gold and theft of gold ore. Some of the arrested persons had been apprehended when they were going about their daily business in the fields, restaurants, or walking along the roadside.
The number of people arrested in Mashonaland Central under the operation far exceeded the holding capacity of Bindura Remand Prison resulting in inhuman treatment. Some of those accused persons were held outside the cells and would spent the night standing in the rain. The Bindura Magistrates’ Court was not entertaining any bail requests but the persistent intervention of LRF led to the immediate release of a 3rd year Bachelor of Tourism student from the University of Zimbabwe. He was arrested at a restaurant in a “prohibited” area on his way to submit his application for attachment.