Shamva North MP Oscar Gorerino (Zanu PF) has been accused of using machete gangs to forcibly take gold ore using his party and parliamentary vehicle from Wickman 23 Mine in Umfurudzi Game Park that is owned by John Maungwa.
BY Richard Muponde
Gorerino is reportedly working in cahoots with Chantelle Chikafu, who once masqueraded as Chantelle Mnangagwa, as she tried to wrest the Shamva gold-rich claim.
After misrepresenting as the President’s daughter, Chikafu signed an agreement with Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) over the gold claims, an agreement which she used to go to the Mines and Mining Development ministry seeking a special gold mining grant for 200 hectares in the reserved area.
She was granted a special grant and established Storm Mine, but it was later discovered that the mine site belonged to Maungwa. She, however, refused to vacate.
Reports are that Gorerino’s “boys” raided Maungwa’s mine on Monday and got away with gold ore and the matter was reported at Madziva Police Station.
The pair is accused of using Zanu PF vehicles and machete gangs to loot Maungwa’s 200 tonnes of gold ore which he left at his mine after operations were suspended by ZimParks.
One of the vehicles reportedly has a homemade number plate #ED2023.
In an interview yesterday Maungwa confirmed that indeed Gorerino, Chikafu and their gangs were looting gold ore from his mine.
“It is true, that is happening. He (Gorerino) is using party youths to loot my gold ore. Party vehicles and his parliamentary vehicles are being used in the looting,” Maungwa said.
“He is using machete gangs to intimidate ZimParks guards and loot my ore. The MP has teamed up with Chikafu who is still dropping the President’s name.”
Maungwa said he was afraid to take action as the looting was being done by a powerful cartel using names of powerful people.
“I am just watching as my gold ore is being looted because I am dealing with powerful people using the names of big people. It pains me because I used a lot of money to bring the ore out of the ground, but it is just being looted as I watch haplessly,” he said.
Contacted for comment, Gorerino denied the allegations, saying they were meant to tarnish his image.
“Where do you get all those lies? You have been sent to tarnish the MP so that Maungwa gets an advantage? It is a pity that people are concentrating on me as if I own any mine in the game park. All youths who work in the game park are from my constituency, including those that work for Maungwa. Secondly, there are no youths who are doing that,” he said.
“JOC (Joint Operation Command) visited the mine yesterday and arrests of illegal miners have been effected by parks (ZimParks) together with police. But still that won’t give them (Maungwa) control of the mine,” Gorerino added.
Chikafu was arrested last month after she had filed a court challenge seeking an order to interdict ZimParks from suspending her mining operations in the game park.
However, Justice Benjamin Chikowero under case number HC5866/20, ruled that the matter was not urgent and it was subsequently removed from the court roll.