Machete gang leaders caged over mine attack

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By Staff Reporter

NYANGA: Four men who led a gang of over 100 machete wielding artisanal miners to attack a gold mine in Nyanga were each given 20 months imprisonment by a local magistrate.

The gang, which was armed with machetes, iron bars, catapults and stones reportedly besieged Nabee Chisero gold mining site in the Eastern Highlands in July last year and caused disturbances.

Munyaradzi Muswe (30), of Hatcliff in Harare, Tendai Tambara (23) of Nyanga, Rodrick Mutinhima (32) of Chitambara and Munyaradzi Marasha (25) of Mudzi were facing charges of public violence.

They were convicted by magistrate Anniah Ndiraya after a full trial.

Prosecutors told the court that Muswe and his accomplices led the army of violent artisanal miners to the gold mine in the afternoon intending to overrun and take control of the milling plant.

Some of the illegal miners threw stones on the facility and broke windowpanes.

The state successfully argued that it was not necessary to establish who did what exactly but just to prove beyond reasonable doubt that they were acting in common purpose.

According to the state, their case was aggravated by the damage caused on the windowpanes.

Section 36 (3) (b) provides that “it shall be an aggravating circumstance if, in the course of or as a result of the public violence bodily harm or damage to property occurred.”