Row erupts over Mat gold mines

HARARE - Three Gwanda residents are in custody in a case of suspected ethnic violence involving gold mines in Matabeleland South Province.

Police say the three suspects are now in custody after they allegedly unleashed violence claiming politics of exclusion in the running of gold claims in the province rich in metals.

Police spokesperson Andrew Phiri said officers nabbed the trio over the weekend following a public scuffle outside Gum West gold mine. The clashes were ignited after a motorist ran over a local vendor’s goods.

“The people started to fight this man saying that ‘you Shonas here are exploiting our resources’ while we are suffering’,” Phiri said. “They went to Joy Tree Mine and then went to Zebia Gold Mine where they did the same.”

“It is alleged they were beating up people at these mines telling them to leave mineral resources in Matabeleland for Ndebeles.

“They accused the Shonas of having many mining claims in the area than Ndebele-speaking people,” the police spokesperson said.

Gwanda has vast gold deposits with Canadian mine, Blanket, being the largest mine in the area.

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