Zimbabwe's artisanal mining is legal, with gold being sold by legitimate gold buyers and distributed across the world.
For 1.5 million of the country's most vulnerable residents, mining has offered hope, dignity, and wealth at a time when poverty, illiteracy and illegal sanctions have stifled progress.
Their hard work and achievements should be celebrated with the hashtag #ZimbabweGoldRush, in the same way that the American, South African and Australian gold rushes were acknowledged for their historical significance, despite being colonial theft.
However, the term #GoldMafia is a mischaracterization of Zimbabwe's growing gold industry. It criminalizes Africans for rightfully benefiting from their national resources. Such language reeks of racism and must not be tolerated by any African.
Not too long ago, the "blood diamond" campaign was employed against African diamond producers, misrepresenting stones not controlled by De Beers as "conflict diamonds". It's time for African nations to wake up and reject this harmful narrative pushed by western cartels, in their attempts to dominate and control our resources.
By championing #ZimbabweGoldRush, we can begin to shift the narrative to a positive and empowering depiction of Africa and its people as the rightful owners and guardians of their resources.
Written by Rutendo Matinyarare