HARARE – Three Mt Darwin gold panners have been dragged to the High Court after they allegedly murdered a colleague over a prostitute, before throwing his body in a disused mineshaft.
Forbes Chimusoro, Gift Dzvuke and Nomore Chemambo are facing murder charges for allegedly assaulting Fides Namichila to death.
According to court papers, the incident took place in January last year when the quartet was at Mukaradzi gold panning site, while drinking beer.
The court heard that Namichila was in the company of his girlfriend Memory Chikanda.
Namichila temporarily left his girlfriend and when he returned, he saw Chimusoro sitting with his girlfriend.
A dispute arose between the two and a fight ensued. Dzvuke and Chemambo joined in the fight, assaulting Namichila.
The court heard that Dzvuke picked an unknown object and struck Namichila on the left side of his forehead.
Namichila fell onto the ground and Chimusoro allegedly pulled out a log from the thatched roof of a nearby house and used it to assault Namichila several times all over the body.
Chemambo allegedly produced a sjambok and whipped Namichila on his backside several times.
The trio left Namichila lying on the ground, before Chimusoro suggested that they should throw his body in a pit.
They allegedly carried his body and threw it in a disused mineshaft, six metres deep.
Namichila’s body was discovered the following morning.
The trio denied the allegations levelled against them. They told the court they were not at the place where the alleged offence was committed and denied ever assaulting Namichila.
“The three accused persons aver that the problem with this case is that the police applied the dragnet approach, where every gold panner was arrested only to be released after implicating another through assault and severe torture,” the trio told the court.
They further said that Namichila was a well-known drunkard who could have fallen on his own into the mineshaft, adding the charges were trumped up.