By-A mine dispute at Carrymine in Bulawayo’s Douglasdale suburb has escalated into a violent conflict after illegal miners allegedly invaded the mine beat up workers before trying to make away with gold ore.
The illegal miners were said to have been sent by a Mrs Pennia Macheka who wants to take over a section of the mine which is owned by Mr Bekezela Moyo.
The incident happened last week Thursday.
Bulawayo police provincial spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube revealed that two people have been arrested.
“There was a dispute at the mine, some arrests were made.
They wanted to steal ore, but they failed to steal because police reacted swiftly and two people were arrested,” said Inspector Ncube.
According to a statement by Carrymine, problems started a month ago when Mrs Macheka and a crew invaded the mine.
“A month ago, we had a lady named Pennia Macheka invade one of our claims by chasing away our workers who were working in the particular claim called Rocks.
I approached the workers who had camped there and told them they were acting outside the law as the mining claim belonged to us.
They directed me to their sponsor who they told me was Mrs Macheka.
I called her immediately and requested a meeting and she complied.
“In the meeting she told me she had pegged the area then changed and asked me to work in the area which I refused and kindly asked her to vacate.
Weeks later she was still there and had fenced the area and put more workers on the claim.
I tried calling her for another meeting several times and she ignored my calls,” the statement from Mr Moto reads.
Last week, men were allegedly found loading gold ore into a truck and they turned violent when confronted. T
he marauding group of about 50 people, reportedly brandished machetes, knives and axes, chased away the mine workers.
Police managed to arrest two people, one of which was Mrs Macheka.
Mr Moyo was asked by police to produce proof of ownership of the claim and he did.
Macheka failed to produce anything to prove ownership of Rocks.
Efforts to get a comment from Mrs Macheka were fruitless as her mobile phone was unreachable and questions sent to her WhatsAp were not answered.