Esigo­dini gold barons freed

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Feature/national News - Richard Muponde Gwanda Cor­re­spon­dent

TWO gold barons from Esigo­dini who were fac­ing charges of in­cit­ing pu­bic vi­o­lence have been ac­quit­ted.

They were said to be lead­ers of ri­val groups that were in­volved in a seven-hour street fight in Ha­bane sub­urb over the con­trol of gold­fields re­cently.

Brian Dube (45) and Mthulisi Ng­wenya (36) were ar­rested in July and spent six days in re­mand prison await­ing bail, for al­legedly in­cit­ing their ri­val groups to en­gage in pub­lic vi­o­lence.

They were wait­ing for trial when Esigo­dini res­i­dent mag­is­trate, Mr Lungile Ncube, with­drew the mat­ter be­fore plea on Mon­day.

The charges were with­drawn at the be­hest of the State as it failed to sus­tain its case against the two gold barons and their four al­leged work­ers.

There were no wit­nesses to tes­tify against the pair and their al­leged fol­low­ers. Last week the trial failed to start in Gwanda.

Charges against the pair and their fol­low­ers were that on July 28, they were in­volved in skir­mishes at Ha­bane busi­ness cen­tre over the con­trol of gold­fields.

The fight arose be­tween il­le­gal gold pan­ners from Fi­l­abusi who were al­legedly led by Dube while the other min­ers from Nkayi were said to be led by Ng­wenya.

The ram­page went on for about seven hours be­fore the po­lice man­aged to con­trol the sit­u­a­tion.

A num­ber of gold pan­ners were ar­rested in­clud­ing Dube and Ng­wenya who were said to be the ring­leaders.

Dube was granted $800 bail while Ng­wenya paid $300, which they col­lected yes­ter­day after their charges were thrown out.

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