Divisions have erupted between the Zanu PF Midlands provincial leadership and the party activists who were allowed into the Sherwood Block after a High Court order stopped sales of the gold extracted from the disputed gold fields, which one Robert Chipwanyira is claiming ownership.
The estimated 600 Zanu PF-aligned panners were last week allowed into the gold fields, but ordered to surrender their findings until the dispute was resolved.
There are now fears they may never receive their dues after all. “We have been told that we won’t get paid until the matter is finalised at the courts after some papers were lodged at the High Court, this means we might not get anything after putting up hours of hard work, this is disappointing,” said a Zanu PF youth who refused to be named.
The simmering impasse in the former ruling party has, however, seen MDC-T rejoicing, saying Zanu PF shot itself in the foot.
“This is an own goal. A lot of people are disgruntled. They were expecting to get instant riches from Sherwood but they have nothing to show. They also face the real possibility of not getting the little money they thought they had worked for. Zanu PF will come out weaker from this debacle,” said Willard Somerai, a Midlands MDC-T National Executive
Former Zanu PF Kwekwe Rural District Co-ordinating Committee chairman George Makombe admitted all was not well in his party in the province.
“I challenge politburo members in Midlands to end this looting by their peers and come out clean so that our supporters are not left bitter,” Makombe said.
Chipwanyira approached the Bulawayo High Court, seeking an order to stop the sale of gold which he alleges was looted by the illegal panners under the watch of the police and with the blessings of the Zanu PF provincial leadership.