By Paul Nyathi
Aspiring Gwanda Central Constituency ZANU PF candidate Japhet Dube has got himself into a hot duel with members of his party’s youth league over a rich gold mine in the outskirts of the town.
Desperate to raise funds to finance his primary elections and probably national elections Dube a former senator in the area is reportedly kicking out youth mining the mine under the ZANU PF affiliated Youth In Mining project.
According to the youth Dube is working in cohorts with Abednico Ncube the Minister for Provincial Affairs Matabeleland South.
The two political heavyweights are reportedly trying to smear the youth off the mine by claiming that they are aligned to the ousted faction G40 which is reviving as National Patriotic Front.
According to the miners Dube has been sending thugs from his youth faction to attack them and they have since fled the mine and stopped mining due to the continuous attacks.
The mine, situated about 45 kilometres from Gwanda along the Beitbridge road, was awarded to the youths in October 2017 under former President Robert Mugabe’s youth empowerment programmes as a tribute from commercial mining company Farvic Consolidate Mine.
Chairperson of the Youth In Mining in the area Mpumelelo Nyoni narrated their ordeal at the hands of the senior politocians.
“In November last year, Dube approached us requesting that we accommodate him in our mining claim,” Nyoni said.
“We didn’t have any problem with that, we then agreed that he brings at least two people to work from here but he insisted that he wanted to bring a group of people, a suggestion we turned down,” he said.
Nyoni said two months later, Dube reportedly sent a mob of youths to demonstrate against them.
“They descended on the mine, carrying stones and various weapons. They switched off pumps and threw boulders and stones into the mine shaft.
“We reported the matter to the police and only two were arrested, fined and released. This has all been aimed at provoking us,” he said.
Nyoni said the demonstrators told them point blank that they had been sent by minister Ncube and Dube.
“We confronted minister Ncube over the matter and he said he was not involved but he said he knew Dube had interests.”
But Dube is not stopping in his pursuit to get the mine as he has reportedly approached Farvic with the intention of taking over.
Dube who is a very close ally to Minister Ncube is reportedly in a desperate drive to raise funds to finance his campaign. He is expected to go through a tough with gold miner Trainos Nkomo in the primaries.
Nkomo is reportedly more financially stable than Dube and is splashing heavily to ZANU PF members who will be voting in the primary elections getting Dube into a panic.