Machete ringleader killed in police shootout

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BY SHARON BUWERIMWE
AN alleged ringleader of illegal gold miners, Claudius Tavazera (21) was on Friday gunned down by the police in a shootout in Bindura.

In a statement yesterday, police said Tavazera was on their list of most wanted persons.

Tavazera and 30 other suspects, who are still at large, were armed with machetes, and they allegedly attacked and kidnapped two employees of Botha Mining Syndicate who were trying to drive illegal gold miners out of Kitsiyatota area.

Police said they had to quickly react to the incident after receiving a report, which then resulted in Tavazera being shot in an exchange of fire with the police.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police confirms the death of Claudius Tavazera, who died in a shootout incident which occurred in Bindura on March 4, 2022 at about 1200hrs,” police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said.

“Police received reports of kidnapping and attempted murder where two complainants employed by Botha Mining Syndicate were attacked and kidnapped by a group of approximately 31 illegal gold miners who were armed with machetes, spears, knobkerries, catapults, logs, switches knives and axes. The suspects attacked the complainants on allegations of planning to drive illegal gold miners out of the Kitsiyatota area.”

Police said they encountered the gang which attacked the officers prompting them to call for reinforcements and to fire four warning shots.

“The suspects kept on advancing while mobilising others to attack the police until one of the leaders was shot on the left knee. The suspects disappeared and police rescued the
victims. The victims and the shot suspect were referred to Bindura Hospital where the suspect died while receiving treatment.”

Nyathi said Tavazera and some of his accomplices were on police wanted list over robbery and rape cases which occurred in Chinhamhora.

Nyathi said they had since launched a manhunt for other suspects who include Kudakwashe Njenge and Behavior Gwaimai, among others.

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