Police in Matabeleland North have arrested seven gold panners in Inyathi for allegedly fatally assaulting a colleague with switches and logs in a dispute over gold ore.
Matabeleland North police spokesperson Inspector Glory Banda identified the deceased as Dumisani Madzikanda (36) of Chief Jiri in Gokwe.
The suspects are Simon Gwape (36) of Mhaka area under Chief Mugabe, Masvingo; Calisto Marira (42) of Chief Handizvidi area also in Masvingo, Sakhelene Bulala (43) of Nxingweni area under Chief Ndondo in Mbembesi, Thubelihle Ngwenya (26), Mthandazo Moyo (26), Mehluli Gumede (24) and Enerst Tshuma (34), all of Mpolompolo village, Durban area in Inyathi.
They are all in police custody for murder and are assisting police with investigations.
Insp Banda said Madzikanda had a misunderstanding with Gwape, Bulala, Ngwenya and Marira in a bushy area in Mpolompolo village at about 7am on Sunday.
The suspects armed themselves with switches and logs and pummeled Madzikanda all over the body until he fell unconscious.
“On the 7th of November around 7am, Madzikanda had a misunderstanding with four of the accused persons who, acting in common purpose and armed with logs and switches, assaulted him several times all over the body. They left him lying unconscious and bleeding through the mouth, nose and ears. At about 11am on the same day, Moyo, Gumede and Tshuma found Madzikanda lying on the ground and further assaulted him with switches and open hands,” said Insp Banda.
They left Madzikanda lying on the ground and bleeding. Mpolompolo village secretary Mr John Maphosa was the first to arrive at the scene after the attack and found Madzikanda already dead.
A report was made to the police who attended the scene and took the body to United Bulawayo Hospitals for a postmortem.
The body had bruises on the neck.
All the seven suspects have been arrested and the murder weapons recovered. -Chronicle