A GOLD panner was allegedly murdered in cold blood at the Kwekwe city interchange rank on Wednesday afternoon following a misunderstanding.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA/ STEPHEN CHADENGA
Police confirmed the murder of Comment Moyo, an alleged gold panner, from Vulamachena village in Zhombe, who was stabbed five times with a suspected Okapi knife at the rank around 4pm by a seven-member gang.
A crime scene report seen by NewsDay shows that Moyo, who was in the company of his brothers Obert (18) and Macdonald (24), was drinking beer at Judith’s shebeen at the rank when a fight broke out.
“His brother Obert was being attacked by a person wielding a pool stick. It was at that point that he stepped in, but was mobbed by a gang of unknown assailants,” the report read.
The report indicates that Moyo was stabbed five times, twice in the left shoulder, once on the left elbow and twice on the back, killing him instantly.
His brother, Macdonald, was struck on the head with a pool stick and is currently battling for life at Kwekwe General Hospital. Witnesses who refused to be named, said the two gangs had outstanding differences emanating from previous encounters.
“It appears that they knew each other because they were accusing each other of having stolen gold ore at one of the mines, that is what triggered the fight,” one witness said.
Kombi driver Felix Jachani said a number of fights had been reported at the rank over the past months, as the number of shebeens increased inside the terminus.
“Council has to act because these shebeens are making this place unsafe. Gold panners come to drink here and when they get drunk, they start fighting, throwing stones and wielding weapons,” he said.
Illegal gold panners have become a menace in Kwekwe, with over four people having been hacked to death since November last year, according to the police.
Police have issued a machete ban in the city, but it has been largely ignored.
Meanwhile, a 37-year-old gold panner from Zvishavane on Sunday fatally stabbed his colleague following a dispute over sharing of mining proceeds, acting Midlands police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Ethel Mukwende has confirmed.
Joseph Mapasure, of Gudo village under Chief Mazvihwa in Zvishavane, allegedly stabbed Samson Gurazhira (36) with an Okapi knife on the chest, leading to his death.
Mukwende said on September 18, Mapasure and Gurazhira shared proceeds from the gold ore they had sold. However, a misunderstanding arose days later after Mapasure began claiming a bigger share, arguing the equipment used in the mining activities was his.
On September 23, Mapasure went to see Gurazhira, who was drinking with a friend at Gudo business centre, to discuss the money-sharing issue.
“It is alleged that a misunderstanding arose and the suspect withdrew a knife from his trousers pocket and stabbed Gurazhira once on the left side of his chest. After being stabbed, he (Gurazhira) ran away, but fell a metres away from the scene.”
He died on the way to a local clinic.