A MAZOWE gold panner was allegedly axed to death in cold blood by a rival group following clashes over panning sites.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
One of the suspects, Munyaradzi Hapazari of Mudokwenyu village, chief Neshangwe in Sadza, appeared before High Court Judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu last Wednesday facing charges of killing Last Mupanedengu at Masasa Farm five years ago.
But the trial could not proceed and was postponed indefinitely after the State indicated that it was still looking for Hapazari’s alleged accomplice, Emmanuel Billiard.
According to court papers, Hapazari and Billiard took turns to crush Mupanedengu’s head accusing him of encroaching into their panning site.
The State alleges on December 20 2009, Hapazari and Billiard, who is still at large, requested Mupanedengu and the other gold panners in the area to have a meeting at Masasa Farm in order to discuss their differences over gold panning.
After heeding the call for the meeting, Mupanedengu proceeded to the venue in the company of his nephew Brighton Chinokopota together with other gold panners.
As they were about five metres from the venue, Hapazari, who was armed with an axe, allegedly charged towards Mupanedengu and struck him once in the head with an axe.
As if that was not enough, Billiard allegedly grabbed the same axe and again struck the helpless victim in the head as he lay down on the ground motionless.
After realising they had committed murder, Hapazari and Billiard allegedly took to their heels and disappeared from the scene, leaving Mupanedengu bleeding profusely with two cuts in the head exposing his brains.
The matter was reported to police, leading to Hapazari arrest. He is detained at Chikurubi Maximum Prison awaiting trial.