Four miners have been arrested for allegedly being part of a 30-men gang that attacked a group of miners at West Nicholson Youth Mine in Gwanda and stole a pistol from a security guard during a mine wrangle.
The gang that was armed with machetes, axes, knobkerries and stones, beat up the security guard and two mine workers until they lost consciousness.
Bruce Sibanda (25), Obedience Dube (27), Prosper Shoko (28) and Richard Ndlovu (36) — all from West Nicholson area — were not asked to plead when they appeared before Gwanda provincial magistrate, Mr Maphios Moyo, facing public violence charges. They were each remanded out of custody on $100 bail to August 8.
In granting them bail, Mr Moyo ordered the four men not to go to West Nicholson Youth Mine. He also ordered them not to interfere with State witnesses.
Prosecuting, Ms Teererai Mahohoma said the gang found 10 miners working on July 16 at around 12 midnight while Mr Jonathan Chikaluma and Onward Zhangazha were guarding the area armed with a nine millimetre star pistol.
“Chikaluma and Zhangazha who work at Vetburg Security Company commenced duty at West Nicholson Youth Mine on 16 July with about 10 artisanal miners. Around 12 midnight the four accused persons who were in the company of about 30 others who are still at large invaded the mine armed with machetes, axes, knobkerries and stones. They attacked the security guards and the miners. Some of the miners and one of the security guards managed to escape while the other security guard and two miners were manhandled and severely assaulted by the gang. They went on to disarm Mr Chikaluma and fled with his pistol,” she said.
Ms Mahohoma said the gang left the three men lying unconscious on the ground.
After the attack, they proceeded to West Nicholson Business Centre which is 200 metres away from the mine.
She said the gang found Mr Nkululeko Dabengwa who was driving a Toyota Granvia vehicle parked at the business centre. They smashed the windscreen and two other windows to the car.
Ms Mahohoma said Mr Dabengwa sped off from the scene and went to West Nicholson police base where he filed a report. “After an hour the miners who had fled from West Nicholson Youth Mine realised that the gang had gone and returned to assist their workmates who were still lying on the ground. They were ferried to Gwanda Provincial Hospital,” she said.
Ms Mahohoma said the matter was reported to the police resulting in the arrest of the four men while the rest were still at large. She said the stolen pistol is worth $1 000 while the damaged windows are valued at $235.
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