THE swift reaction by the police in arresting machete gang members who allegedly killed a policeman and injured another in Battlefields, near Kadoma, is commendable.
But the question everyone is asking is: Did it have to take the death of one of their own for the police take the menace seriously?
Prior to this, there had been reports of these marauding gangs in most gold-mining areas and they seemed to be getting away with murder.
Until of course, they crossed the line by attacking policemen on duty, then we saw the Support Unit, District Reaction Groups and the Canine Section combing the crime area and quickly arresting the killers.
This is how things should be whenever crime is committed. Every life is precious and should not be lost.
What the police have demonstrated is that they know who these people are and who is behind them and that they also have the capacity to stop them in their tracks. Sadly, the killings are still continuing, but we are now confident the perpetrators of the violence will be arrested. Sooner or later, the killings will stop.
Police are also driving away illegal artisanal miners from Good Hope Mine and Jumbo Mine to ensure there is order.
We hope the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development will step up efforts to restore order in mining areas.
Small-scale miners are recognised as important players in the mining sector and contribute a lot to gold deliveries.
They are also organised under an association led by Ms Henrietta Rushwaya.
So they are not criminals, but serious participants in the economy who should be supported to continue to do their work.
The lawlessness that we have seen in the mining areas is clearly not coming from this organised group and, therefore, should be quickly stopped.
We now wait to see if the police will sustain the operations until peace prevails in all mining areas.