Machete-wielding gang in 1,5t gold ore heist


© THREE machete-wielding gold panners pounced on a mine in Inyathi, Matabeleland North and got away with one-and-a-half tonnes of gold ore, a court heard yesterday.
Tawanda Msipa, 21, Sithemba Ndlovu, 19, and Washington Phiri, 22, pounced on Impi East Mine where they attempted to hack employees with machetes.
Fearing for their lives, the court heard that the employees fled the mine leaving the suspects to get away with the loot.
Yesterday, Msipa, Ndlovu and Phiri were not asked to plead for armed robbery when they appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Shepherd Mnjanja.
Prosecutor Leonard Chile alleged that on January 3, Msipa, Ndlovu, Phiri and their accomplices who are still at large hatched a plan to steal gold ore from Impi East Mine.
They proceeded to the mine where they allegedly attacked mine employees with machetes and stones upon arrival.
Out of fear for their lives, the employees fled the mine, leaving the accused persons behind.
It is alleged that the three suspected robbers took advantage and got away with one-and-a-half tonnes of gold ore.
The State alleges that the stolen gold ore was recovered in the trio’s possession upon their arrest.
Police have intensified their blitz against machete-wielding illegal gold miners around the country.
On January 3, police shot and killed a miner in Mphoengs, Matabeleland South after the man and his accomplices freed their colleague, Nkosana Moyo, from police custody by force.
National police spokesperson Paul Nyathi said the gang attacked a police officer and injured another in the process.
The freed suspect, Moyo, handed himself over to the police on Saturday while still in handcuffs.
Also recently, the MaShurungwi gang, as they are infamously known, hacked to death a police officer in broad daylight in Kadoma.
Police have since arrested Tonderai Musasa, Rickwell Tshuma, Bornlight Mukute, Paul Demo, Taurai Munetsi, and a minor aged 12 in connection with the gruesome murder of police constable Wonder Hokoyo.

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