Zanu PF legislator Dexter Nduna, the party’s Mashonaland West provincial youth chairman Vengai Musengi and police acting officer commanding Chegutu District Superintendent Wonder Chisikwa allegedly extracted gold ore at the David Whitehead waste deposit site in Chegutu, a day before a machete attackers’ leader was shot dead by police.
Chegutu Rural District Council chairman Tatenda Gwinji was also mentioned among officials who extracted the gold ore.
Nduna, Musengi, Chisikwa and Gwinji yesterday appeared at Chegutu Magistrates’ Court facing charges of prospecting for gold without a licence.
Musengi, Chisikwa and Gwinji were jointly charged with Tawanda Marufu and Nyasha Nyikadzino and remanded on their own recognisance out of custody to January 24, when they appeared before Chegutu magistrate Ms Judith Taruvinga.
Nduna and Chisikwa were separately charged for abuse of office and were remanded to January 21.
It is alleged that on November 13 last year, the seven unlawfully and intentionally prospected for mineral ore near David Whitehead without a licence, in contravention of the Mines and Minerals Act.
On November 12, Nduna, Chisikwa, Musengi and Gwinji reportedly met at ZRP Chegutu District Headquarters and hatched a plan to extract gold ore from David Whitehead.
They agreed to look for an excavator to extract the mineral and Gwinji opted to approach Chegutu RDC.
Nduna allegedly decided to hire a JCB excavator from Yellow Metal Tours in Kadoma and paid US$495 through Marufu.
Chisikwa ordered police officers who were guarding the site not to interfere with the excavator before the accused extracted the ore which they loaded into trucks.
They were summoned to court on Monday, following police investigations.
Prosecutor Tarisai Mutarisi represented the State.
Meanwhile, police in Shurugwi have arrested Edson Nyathi (24) and Kudakwashe Ndlela (19) in connection with nine cases of robbery where they were terrorising their victims using machetes and other weapons between December 1, 2019 and January this year.
Deputy national police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Blessmore Chishaka said the two and their accomplice, who is at large, went on a rampage committing a spate of armed robberies in and around Shurugwi, threatening victims with knives, machetes and axes and robbing them of cellphones and cash.
“In one case, the victim was struck on the head with a machete and sustained a deep cut while three others were stabbed with a knife,” he said.
“The suspects got away with property and cash valued at $30 800, US$2 900 and six bags of gold ore. On January 2 this year, the police tracked and arrested them at their hideout near Peak Mine in Shurugwi and recovered the weapons used in robberies and some of the stolen property.”
Chief Supt Chishaka said on January 3, in Mphoengs, a machete-wielding gang teamed up to free a suspect for robbery, unlawful entry and theft, Nkosana Moyo, from police custody and attacked police officers in the process.
“One officer was injured in the process, one of the gang members was shot and later died at a local hospital,” he said.
Chief Supt Chishaka said in another incident on January 5, police were called to restore order at a mine in Inyathi Mine where artisanal miners had turned violent.
“Police presence did not deter the unruly conduct as the mob surrounded and started attacking officers with machetes and other weapons,” he said.
“A 23-year-old man armed with an axe and a knobkerrie was shot and later succumbed to the injuries, while five others were arrested. Police recovered various weapons, including machetes in the process.”
Chief Supt Chishaka warned unscrupulous elements engaging in the use of machetes or other weapons to commit crimes that the full wrath of the law will catch up with them.