Miner arrested for stealing own gold

BY RICHARD MUPONDE

SHAMVA miner, John Maungwa, who is involved in a bitter mining wrangle with a woman who once masqueraded as President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s daughter Chantelle Chikafu was arrested on Monday for allegedly stealing gold ore from “his own mine”.

Maungwa is still in police custody after Chikafu made a report that the miner had stolen 390 tonnes of gold ore, which she had mined together with Shamva North MP, Oscar Gorerino (Zanu PF).

He had returned to his mine after High Court judge Justice Jacob Manzunzu on April 29, ruled that he be restored possession of Wickman 23 Mine in Umfurudzi Game Park, which Chikafu’s gang working in cahoots with Gorerino, had violently grabbed from him.

Mashonaland provincial police spokesperson Inspector Milton Mundembe could not confirm or deny Maungwa’s arrest. He told NewsDay that he could not readily get the information.

“I didn’t manage to get the information. There is no one in the office to ask because we took an early break. I will give you the information tomorrow (today) morning,” Mundembe said.

But a source close to the matter confirmed Maungwa’s arrest. He alleged that it was a ploy by Chikafu and Gorerino to fix him for winning the court case which gave him unfettered mining rights.

The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) and the police had also allowed Maungwa to mine undisturbed in compliance with the court order.

“He has no case. How can he steal his own ore? These people were illegally mining on his mining claims and when the High Court restored him to resume operations Chikafu then made a report that Maungwa had stolen her gold ore. This is just a way by Chikafu and Gorerino to fix him because he has won the rights to his mine,” he said.

The source also alleged that the timing of Maungwa’s arrest was meant to coincide with the holidays so that he stays long in police custody.

“To show you that they wanted to fix him, the police officer, a detective Pasipanodya from Bindura Criminal Investigations Minerals and Flora and Fauna who arrested him, tricked him telling him that he was supposed to go to court. Maungwa went to the courts and waited for the detective, but he was in no show. When he realised that the courts were about to close for the day he appeared and ordered him to the police station where he advised him that he had orders to detain him,” the sources said.

He also said he suspected that Pasipanodya could be working in cahoots with Chikafu and Gorerino in the mine wrangle.

Maungwa’s arrest came soon after the mine wrangle also claimed the scalp of Mashonaland Central police commander Commissioner David Mahoya who was abruptly transferred for ignoring his bosses’ directives to restore Maungwa to his mine in compliance with a High Court order by Justice Tawanda Chitapi of November 25.

Mahoya had been reportedly siding with Chikafu and Gorerino in defying court orders granted by the High Court directing that Maungwa should resume mining operations without interference.

Follow Richard on Twitter @muponderichard

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