By Munyaradzi Musiiwa
An illegal gold panner from Zvishavane died after he was allegedly shot in the chest while trying to steal gold ore from a local mine shaft, police have confirmed.
Acting Midlands Police Spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende said Shepherd Moyo (38) of Nil Town in Zvishavane fatally shot an illegal gold panner Emmanuel Tshuma (19) of Devon Village under Chief Mazvihwa.
Asst Insp Mukwende said last week on Tuesday, Tshuma and a group of other unidentified gold panners allegedly pounced on the mine on the outskirts of Zvishavane and forcibly extracted gold ore from a shaft.
“We are investigating a case of murder which occurred at a gold mine in Zvishavane where an illegal gold panner was shot while stealing gold ore. It is suspected that the now deceased Tshuma who was in the company of other illegal gold miners invaded the mine and went into a shaft where they extracted gold. It is said that the gold panners were noticed by other mine workers who then notified the authorities,” she said.
Asst Insp Mukwende said the authorities at the mine deployed security guards and rounded the gold panners in an attempt to apprehend them.
“On realising that they had been rounded up, the illegal gold panners who were armed with machetes charged towards the suspect Shepherd Moyo who was armed with a riffle. Moyo allegedly ordered the panners to sit down and surrender the gold ore but they refused and Tshuma who was in the front charged towards Moyo intending to strike him with a machete,” she said.
Asst Insp Mukwende said Tshuma attempted to strike Moyo with a machete, prompting him to shoot him in the chest once. She said Tshuma’s colleagues managed to escape unharmed and ran away.
“The matter was reported to police leading to Moyo’s arrest. Tshuma’s body was taken to United Bulawayo Hospitals for post-mortem. Moyo is in police custody assisting with investigations,” she said. Sunday News.