Police in Kwekwe have arrested five security guards deployed at Jena Mine in connection with a robbery incident involving 6,3kg of gold that occurred at the mine last Thursday.
The guards, employed by National Eye Security firm, had been hired to transport the gold from the mine to Fidelity Printers in Harare.
Although Kwekwe district police spokesperson Detective Sergeant Israel Mhondiwa declined to comment over the issue, referring NewsDay to his bosses in Harare, sources in the police force said the five guards had been detained to facilitate investigations into their suspected involvement in the heist.
Police sources said the truck driver, identified as Charles Dangarembizi, left the mine at around 5am using a Toyota Hilux under the escort of another car from the mine. At the 13km peg, Dangarembizi allegedly stopped the vehicle as the road had been barricaded with tree branches.
As he tried to manoeuvre his way past the blockade, five suspected robbers emerged from the bush with their faces covered in black cloths and opened fire, deflating the truck’s tyres.
Dangarembizi allegedly attempted to drive away, but lost control of the vehicle and veered of the road.
The suspected robbers pounced on the hapless guards, shot one of them and threatened to set the vehicle on fire. The guards then surrendered the vehicle keys.
The suspects then opened the rear of the truck and stole the gold and two revolvers before driving away using the guards’ escort car before dumping it about 500 metres from the scene.
Sources at the mine told NewsDay that movement of gold from the mine to Fidelity Printers in Harare was a closely-guarded secret and, therefore, the ambush could have been planned by someone with inside information.
“The timetable and days gold is moved from the mine are constantly changed and never predictable. It is, therefore, clear that someone with inside information could have been part of the heist, this could be a member of the security or top management,” said a source from the mine.
Meanwhile, police investigations continue.