MP in court for illegal gold mining

Dexter Nduna

Zanu-PF legislator Dexter Nduna, the party’s Mashonaland West provincial youth chairman Vengai Musengi and police acting officer commanding Chegutu District Superintendent Wonder Chisikwa allegedly illegally extracted gold ore at David Whitehead’s waste deposit site in Chegutu, a day before a machete attackers leader was shot dead by police following an exchange of gunfire.

Chegutu Rural District Council chairman Tatenda Gwinji was also part of the mentioned officials who extracted the gold ore the day before the fatal shooting.

Nduna (49), Musengi, Chisikwa and Gwinji yesterday appeared at Chegutu Magistrates Court for prospecting for gold without a licence at an area where Taurai Mutandwa, the leader of the notorious Team Barca machete gang, was shot.

Musengi, Chisikwa and Gwinji were jointly charged with Tawanda Marufu and Nyasha Nyikadzino and remanded on their own recognisance out of custody to January 24, when they appeared before Chegutu magistrate Ms Judith Taruvinga.

Nduna and Chisikwa were separately charged for abuse of office and were remanded to January 21.

It is alleged that on November 13 last year, the group unlawfully and intentionally prospected for mineral ore near David Whitehead without a licence, in contravention of the Mines and Minerals Act.

On November 12, Nduna, Chisikwa, Musengi and Gwinji reportedly held a meeting at ZRP Chegutu District Headquarters where they hatched a plan to extract gold ore from David Whitehead. They agreed to look for an excavator to extract the mineral and Gwinji opted to approach Chegutu RDC.

Nduna allegedly decided to hire a JCB excavator from Yellow Metal Tours in Kadoma where he paid US$495 through Marufu.

Chisikwa ordered police officers who were guarding the site not to interfere with the excavator before the accused extracted the ore which they loaded into trucks.

They were summoned to court on Monday, following police investigations.

Prosecutor Tarisai Mutarisi represented the State.

Meanwhile, police in Shurugwi have arrested Edson Nyathi (24) and Kudakwashe Ndlela (19) in connection with nine cases of robbery where they were terrorising their victims using machetes and other weapons between December 1, 2019 and January this year. Deputy national police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Blessmore Chishaka said the two and their accomplice who is at large went on a rampage committing a spate of armed robberies in and around Shurugwi, threatening victims with knives, machetes and axes and robbed them of cellphones and cash.

“In one case, the victim was struck on the head with a machete and he sustained a deep cut while three others were stabbed with a knife,” he said. 

“The suspects got away with property and cash valued at $30 800, US$2 900 and six bags of gold ore. On January 2 this year, the police tracked and arrested them at their hide out near Peak Mine in Shurugwi and recovered the weapons used in robberies and some of the stolen property.” 

Chief Supt Chishaka said on January 3, in Mphoengs, a machete wielding gang teamed up to free a suspect for robbery, unlawful entry and theft, Nkosana Moyo, from police custody and attacked police officers in the process.

“One officer was injured in the process, one of the gang members was shot and later died at a local hospital,” he said. 

Chief Supt Chishaka said in another incident on January 5, police were called to restore order at a mine in Inyathi Mine where artisanal miners had turned violent. “Police presence did not deter the unruly conduct as the mob surrounded and started attacking officers with machetes and other weapons,” he said. 

“A 23-year-old man armed with an axe and a knobkerrie was shot and later succumbed to the injuries, while five others were arrested. Police recovered various weapons, including machetes in the process.”

Chief Supt Chishaka warned unscrupulous elements engaging in the use of machetes or other weapons to commit crimes that the full wrath of the law will catch up with them. – Chronicle