The City of Kwekwe is sustained by both formal and informal mining activities. As industry collapsed owing to a decade-long political crisis, thousands of workers formerly employed by collapsing mining companies and downstream industries turned to artisanal gold panning for survival. Gold panning requires plenty of water for processing of gold. Due to lack of capital and the unorganized nature of gold panning in Kwekwe, panners have turned to bizarre methods of processing gold. The Kwekwe City Council has raised an outcry that gold panners are deliberately blocking sewerage pipes and breaking water pipes in and around the city to access water for gold purification. The panners are also uprooting both indigenous trees and exotic trees planted by the Council as part of land reclamation. Gold panning in Kwekwe is controlled by a cartel of senior cabinet ministers and politicians who buy the gold from the panners. In January 2012 a new gold rush began in Kwekwe following the discovery of gold nuggets by local panners at Sherwood Park. ZANU PF provincial leaders immediately sealed the area and declared it a ZANU PF territory. Environmental Management Agency has been helpless in dealing with panners due to their affiliation to politicians.