Thugs in­vade gold claim, mass fight erupts GANG LEADER DIES IN GOLD WAR

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Richard Muponde

AN al­leged ring­leader of a gang of gold pan­ners linked to an Esigo­dini gold baron died on Mon­day night af­ter his right foot was chopped off in a mass fight over a min­ing claim in Fi­l­abusi.

Qal­isani Moyo, pop­u­larly known as Fri­day of Sanale area in Fi­l­abusi, had been re­leased from re­mand prison a few days ear­lier hav­ing been ar­rested for as­sault­ing po­lice of­fi­cers. He al­legedly com­mit­ted the crime in the com­pany of his gang in a bid to force po­lice to re­lease some rob­bery sus­pects.

Dur­ing that in­ci­dent, Moyo and his squad also al­legedly de­stroyed a po­lice ve­hi­cle and de­flated its tyres with Okapi knives. He went into hid­ing un­til his ar­rest last week and the un­named Esigo­dini gold baron al­legedly paid his bail. Moyo died be­fore he could ap­pear in court to­mor­row fol­low­ing bloody clashes pit­ting two ri­val groups over the con­trol of the gold claim at HeyHill Farm. When a Chron­i­cle news crew ar­rived in Fi­l­abusi yes­ter­day morn­ing, Moyo’s body was still ly­ing at the mur­der scene. Po­lice were also present, con­duct­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions. The bushy area at HeyHill Farm re­sem­bled a battlefield. Moyo’s body was ly­ing about 500 me­tres from the claim in a thicket. It had scars on the fore­head, a deep cut above the left eye and an­other on the chin. His right foot was chopped off.

When the news crew left the area at around mid­day the body was still to be re­moved.

“A team of de­tec­tives from Gwanda and de­tec­tives from Fi­l­abusi were still at work.

Ac­cord­ing to sources, Moyo was al­legedly as­signed by the Esigo­dini gold baron to lead a gang of about 50 gold pan­ners to wres­tle Mosen­tase gold claim at HeyHill Farm for his boss.

The gang was al­legedly fer­ried to the area in three trucks be­long­ing to the Esigo­dini gold baron and dropped off along the Mbal­a­bala–Zvisha­vane Road al­legedly armed with ma­chetes, pan­gas, axes, picks and shov­els.

On ar­rival, they re­port­edly started at­tack­ing the other group which was min­ing at the claim, lead­ing to Moyo’s fa­tal ax­ing.

Sev­eral peo­ple in­clud­ing mem­bers of his gang and those from the ri­val group sus­tained se­ri­ous in­juries.

In an in­ter­view at the scene, Zanu-PF district chair­per­son for In­siza, Cde Njab­ulo Ndlovu who is re­set­tled at the farm where the claim is sit­u­ated said the in­ci­dent oc­curred at around 10PM on Mon­day.

“We saw the gang leav­ing Fi­l­abusi in trucks be­long­ing to their boss com­ing to this area. In the morn­ing a mem­ber of the Neigh­bour­hood Watch Com­mit­tee (NWC) came to me and ad­vised me of the scuf­fle and screams which em­anated from the mine. We then went to in­ves­ti­gate and bumped into this body,” said Cde Ndlovu.

An­other re­set­tled farmer who is also the rul­ing party’s branch chair­man, Cde Do­main Moyo said for some time there was talk that the Esigo­dini gold baron wanted to take over the gold claim.

“Yes­ter­day they phoned that he had dis­patched his gang com­ing here armed with ma­chetes, pan­gas, shov­els, picks, axes and an as­sort­ment of other weapons. In the morn­ing, Msongelwa Juba, a mem­ber of NWC came to me and we went to in­ves­ti­gate and found the body. We dis­cov­ered that he was not from this area and we con­cluded that he was a mem­ber of the Esigo­dini gold baron’s gang,” he said.

Po­lice of­fi­fi­cers in­spect the body of Qal­isani Moyo in Fi­l­abusi yes­ter­day

Cde Njab­ulo Ndlovu

Con­sta­ble Nor­est Ku­varega in hospi­tal

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