A SUSPECTED Makonde illegal miner is allegedly abusing President Emerson Mnangagwa’s name to torment a resettled farmer, who now has endured illegal gold mining metres from his house.
BY NHAU MANGIRAZI
Gibson Liason Muyambo (60) said he has endured two years of verbal and emotional torture at the hands of Captain Chidikwindi, a civilian, who allegedly takes advantage of his first name to pretend to be an officer in the army.
Muyambo’s eight roomed farmhouse, at plot 25, about 30km south west of Chinhoyi, is threatened with collapse after a 25 metre deep pit was dug less than two metres away by Dairai Mining Syndicate owned by Chidikwindi, who allegedly claims to work in Mnangagwa’s office.
Walls in five of the rooms were now cracking from inside after the invasion by illegal gold panners.
The dining room, which was dug as part of their illegal operations, has been refilled with gravel, but is now an eyesore for a floor that has tiles.
Outside, a huge mountain of gravel sticks out as evidence of a trail of destruction on part of the house doorsteps.
The farmhouse, situated near a mountain, enveloped under shades of muonde trees, traditionally regarded as a “tree of peace”, under Chief Nemakonde has been part of controversy as they are now living under a cloud of uncertainty.
The gully, about eight metres wide, poses a threat to both domestic animals and the family living here.
Muyambo, a member of Mwazha sect, was clad in his apostolic white garment during a midweek visit.
He was visibly dejected throughout the interview.
Muyambo is among 24 plot holders at Highway off Musina farm, suffering over unfound gold deposits at his own farmhouse yard.
“All seemed to be well for us until February 2016 when Captain Chidikwindi came claiming he had authority to mine gold from my plot. He forcibly entered into my yard and hired 35 workers, who dug up the pit near my house. Drunk workers held night vigils with women partying, hurling verbal abuse at me, my wife and my workers. It was a torture camp,” he narrated.
Muyambo said a potential investor only identified as Wayne from Harare said there not enough gold deposits at the site, but Chidikwindi brought three others for several months and nothing has come out productively.
“When Chidikwindi came, he said he is untouchable from high office of President ED. He wanted me to sign a partnership deal, but we had to seek legal advice that resulted in us selling 17 beasts,” a dejected looking Muyambo, explained.
At one time, they approached the High Court to bar his operations, but they had to withdrawal the action on the understanding the illegal miners would leave peacefully.
However, as fate would have it, they have lost several goats and chicken, but cannot question the hostile land grabbers for fear of being attacked.
Muyambo’s daughter Tafadzwa (29) who lived in South Africa, returned but was threatened with unspecified action and verbally abused in April last year. “They shouted unprintable words in my parents’ presence and we are living under captivity. Fortunately, the majority of the workers disappeared over non-payment late last year,” she said.
Former Dairai Mining Syndicate official, Stanley Murahwa confirmed that he moved out of a “wild goose” mines deal fronted by Chidikwindi.
“There was no reason for us to remain where there is no gold. He (Chidikwindi) used dubious political muscle against farmers, claiming to be from Mnangagwa’s office, linked to Minister of Water, Environment Oppah Muchinguri among other political heavyweights. It is all false,” Murahwa said.
He added that an environment impact assessment was never done for the project.
Chief Wilson Mhende Nemakonde alleged that Chidikwindi was also claiming chieftainship.
Speaking through his spokesperson, Never Kamurayi near Lions Den, he said Chidikwindi was “dubious.”
“He claims that he is Murindagomo, the mediator between Chief Makonde and Nyamusva from time immemorial.
Traditionally, the sitting chief does not talk directly with Murindagomo but Chidikwindi has been here on several occasions breaking our traditional values culturally and it is unacceptable,’’ Kamurayi explained.
Chidikwindi burst into laughter when he was addressed as “Bhoki ,” his village nickname during a telephone interview on Wednesday night “Who gave you that information about my background as Bhoki? It is a long story young man and we need more time to discuss this. For the record, I am the Chief Nemakonde,” he said.
He confirmed that he was fighting Chief Nemakonde over the tittle.
On mounting allegations that he grabbed the farm without proper documentation using an expired prospecting licence, Chidikwindi said: “I have all papers in order and we scanned the farmhouse to prove that there is gold underneath. I do my qualified operations on my own and have several workers.”