Four gold panners at Arcturus Mine in Goromonzi were on Sunday morning left seriously injured after some security guards opened fire on them as the battle over the gold field rages on. JAIROS SAUNYAMA
The security guards, employed by TN Holdings the owners of the mine are currently assisting police with investigations following the shooting that left one of the three victims in a critical condition.
The shot panners are currently admitted at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.
Mashonaland East acting provincial police spokesperson Inspector Tendai Mwanza confirmed the incident and said investigations are still in progress.
“I confirm the incident, and that one of the victims is in a critical condition at Parirenyatwa Hospital. However, police are still making investigations to establish what actually transpired and any developments will be announced in due course,” he said.
According to police, on Sunday morning, about 30 people were panning gold at Goromonzi Rural Distrcit offices compound when a Mazda B18 truck laden with security guards arrived. It is reported that the security guards opened fire at the panners resulting in four of them shot.
After the shooting, it is alleged the security guards retreated to their place at Acturus Mine while the injured were then rushed to hospital.
According to an eye witness, the panners were searching for the precious mineral outside the main mine shafts when security guards came and randomly opened fire.
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“This area is outside the mine premises and the security guards often come to chase them away. Tragically, four people were shot and wounded after the security guards opened fire as they chased them away.
Fortunately no one died but the injured were taken to hospital,” said the eyewitness.
Despite the incident, some panners were still around the area digging for gold.
Meanwhile, gold rush panning in Goromonzi has resulted in a number of panners dead as they clash with security guards in the area.
Recently, rival gangs had running battles over ownership of the recently established illegal gold mines at Jongwe Farm in Goromonzi resulting in one panner being shot dead in the fracas.
The two gangs comprised one from Shurugwi and another from the local area.