Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Man found dead in disused mine

By Whinsley Masara

A-26-year-old man is suspected to have been murdered and dumped in a disused 50-metre deep mine shaft in Fort Rixon.

His friend only identified as Pepukai, told police he last saw the deceased Innocent Muteve being chased by two strangers on February 6.

Pepukai reported Muteve – an illegal miner from Gweru – missing on February 11.

Villagers told The Chronicle Muteve had a fight with unknown gold panners at Claremont Business Centre on February 6.

Matabeleland South acting police spokesperson Sergeant Thabani Mkhwananzi said police suspect Muteve could have been murdered.

“We suspect a man was murdered by two unidentified men in Fort Rixon after witnesses said they saw him in a violent encounter with them. It is alleged the unidentified men chased the deceased, disappearing into the dark and were never seen again.

“The odour of something decomposing in the shaft prompted people to report to police. Police attended the scene and a decomposing body was retrieved from a disused 50 metres deep mine shaft on February 12. A close friend identified him by his clothes,” he said.

Sgt Mkhwananzi said police are hunting for the two men who are suspected to have committed the murder.

“Police are appealing for information concerning the whereabouts of the two suspects. Anyone with information on those two men who were last seen chasing after the now deceased should contact the police,” he said.

A source who preferred anonymity said there was a misunderstanding between Muteve and one of the two unidentified men.

“The two men suddenly became violent. We didn’t notice if they were armed but many of the illegal miners in this area are usually armed.

They chased after Innocent, disappearing into the dark.

“We didn’t see him again. We thought nothing was amiss as these makorokozas always fight among themselves. We thought he had returned to his home in Gweru to lie low and avoid his violent attackers. One of us reported to police that he was missing,” he said. The Chronicle