Mashonaland Central Bureau
Six people were arrested following a violent incident at Saimona mining site in Bindura yesterday after a security guard shot and injured an artisanal miner for sneaking into the compound for gold panning.
The wounded, Mr Nyasha Jamu, is lucky to be alive after the security guard shot him at long range.
He sustained non-fatal gunshot wounds.
The Herald visited him at Bindura Hospital where he is receiving treatment and opened up on the incident.
Mr Jamu said he liaised with the security guard and paid to be sneaked into the mining site.
“Together with my two colleagues, we started working at around 6pm,” he said. “At around 9pm, two guards approached us and started interrogating us. One of the guards pretended to be on his phone and ran away.
“I suspect the remaining guard feared that we might attack him and fired a shot towards me. I started running away and he fired a second shot and I fell down.
“I woke up and felt numb, but I knew that I was hit. I was hit on the chin, right hand, right thigh and the pelvic area.”
The security guard was reportedly assaulted by members of the community. Ms Sharon Gavheta said community members were not happy about the incident.
“We are not co-existing well with the mine owners,” she said.
Mr Shone Chimhuno from Village 3c in Saimona said the security guard was not under threat and he did not fire warning shots.
“We heard that the artisanal miners had paid money to be allowed inside the mining site,” he said. “The community used to have areas where they did their mining, but the new owners have taken over the whole place.
“This is a farming area, A1 and A2 farms and mining activities have encroached onto our homesteads.”
Zimbabwe Artisanal Miners Association (ZAMA) provincial secretary Mr Saimon Matibairakupusa said the new owners were operating in an area previously mined by the community.
“This is the source of conflict because the community is returning to the mining site for livelihoods,” he said. “We are going to this site on a fact finding mission.
“If the owner’s permit encompasses the whole area, we will lobby for a tribute so that the community can have an area to work on.”
Provincial police spokesperson Inspector Milton Mundembe said he was yet to gather information about the incident.