By Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu
Two men who were part of a 15 men gang armed with machetes, axes and logs have been arrested for allegedly raiding and stealing gold ore at a mine in Colleen Bawn.
Mqhelisi Moyo (26) and Edmore Zulu (32) both from Spitzkop Medium Suburb were not asked to plead when they appeared before Gwanda magistrate, Mrs Nomagugu Sibanda facing a robbery charge. They were remanded in custody to January 26 for trial.
Prosecuting, Miss Glenda Nare said Moyo and Zulu, who were in the company of 13 others who are still at large, invaded Poly 4 Mine which belongs to Ms Grace Dube on December 4 at around 2AM.
They allegedly stole 60 by 50kg bags of gold ore, a car battery and two cellphones all valued at US$1 110.
“On 4 December at around 2AM the two accused persons in the company of 13 others who are still at large drove to Poly 4 Mine in Colleen Bawn in two vehicles armed with machetes, logs and axes.
“They found mine workers asleep in the open while others were asleep inside some make shift tents. The gang began to assault the mine workers using machetes and logs and the workers fled in different directions,’’ she said.
Miss Nare said the accused persons then loaded 60 by 50kg of gold ore into the two vehicles and also took a car battery and two cell phones before fleeing the scene.
She said the matter was reported to the police who conducted investigations leading to Moyo’s arrest.
Miss Nare said Moyo was arrested after he was identified by one of the workers as the driver of one of the two vehicles that were used in the raid.
She said Moyo then implicated Zulu leading to his arrest. She said the stolen property is worth US$1 101 and nothing was recovered.
Machete gangs have been terrorising people in gold-rich mining towns like Gwanda, Kwekwe, Kadoma, Bindura and Chegutu, where they are killing and sexually abusing gold miners and civilians.
Special courts have since been set up countrywide to deal specifically with organised machete gang attackers.
Speaking during the opening of the 2020 Legal Year last week, Chief Justice Luke Malaba said the specialised courts are expected to clamp down speedily and decisively on the machete gang menace following grisly murders, including that of a Kadoma police officer, robberies and vicious assaults.
Chief Justice Malaba strongly warned rogue elements behind the wave of machete and knife violence.
“As we speak, the country is gripped by another spate of violence perpetrated by the so-called machete gangs. The Judiciary acknowledges the work being undertaken by law enforcement agencies in bringing perpetrators of that violence to book,” he said. The Chronicle