POLICE have cordoned off a GRAVEYARD in the Jambezi area of Hwange following the discovery of what are believed to be significant gold deposits.
A gold panner from Gweru attending a burial in Mlonga Village 17 under Chief Shana is said to have stunned mourners by taking away a sample of soil dug up during the preparation of a grave.
Later in the night, villagers were alerted to some unusual activity at the graveyard only to find the unidentified Gweru mourner digging away.
Mines Minister Obert Mpofu said on Monday: “I can confirm that suspected gold deposits could have been found in Mlonga area in Jambezi area. We are working closely with Chief Shana and the local leadership so that if confirmed, the resource benefits the locals.
“Right now, our officials are working on the samples they got from the area to ascertain whether there is indeed gold. If it is there, we will be very happy, happy for the community and happy for the country.”
Villager Mark Sibanda, who was one of the men who apprehended the panner, said: “It was at a funeral wake when we were burying a fellow villager that the gold panner shocked us all when he took some of the soil.
“Everyone was shocked and started wondering why he had taken the soil. Unbeknown to us, he had seen that the area could be having gold.”
After an alert was sounded about a strange light at the grave site, Sibanda and others went to investigate.
“It was that visitor, who was digging for gold. We apprehended him and took him to the police and from there, people were now interested in panning, but the area was quickly condoned off by the police.
“So we are just waiting, hoping that we get the first preference to mine the gold.”
Matabeleland North and South are mineral rich, with gold deposits spread across the two provinces.