Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
POLICE in Bulawayo shot two suspected illegal gold panners who violently resisted arrest after one of them allegedly killed, without provocation, a fellow gold miner at Hope Fountain.
Dumisani Ndlovu (25) is alleged to have fatally stabbed Howard Sibanda (19) while in the company of Prince Mwale (33) who was wanted for assault.
The incident occurred at Lonester Mine in Hope Fountain on the outskirts of Bulawayo on Sunday at about 1AM.
A source said the pair was part of a group of panners that had been gambling through the night.
The source said Ndlovu found Sibanda sleeping near a fire and started kicking him.
When the now deceased woke up, the source said, Ndlovu stabbed him with an unknown object.
“He stabbed Sibanda in the chest for no apparent reason and he died on the spot. Some of the witnesses said Ndlovu was overheard saying ‘umfana lowu ngimgwazele amahala (I’ve stabbed that boy for no reason),’ he said.
The source said one of the panners rushed to Hillside Police Station to make a report.
“When the investigating unit arrived at the murder scene, the group of gold panners tried to assist their friends to resist arrest. They attacked police officers with stones. They also tried to incite others to be violent against police officers,” said the source.
“The pair even tried to arrest the police forcing the law enforcement agents to shoot at them. Ndlovu and Mwale were eventually arrested after the shooting.”
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango confirmed the incident yesterday.
“Police on Sunday arrested two suspects in connection with the murder of a 19-year-old man. It’s unfortunate that police had to use minimum force and shoot the suspects in the legs to restrain them from being violent,” said Insp Simango.
She warned members of the public against undermining police officers as they carry out their duties.
Insp Simango said after the arrest of the pair, the police discovered that Mwale was actually on the police wanted list for an assault case.
“Our duty is to maintain law and order and arrest those accused of violating the law. We call for citizens’ co-operation with our officers as they execute their duties. We are headed towards elections and we want the peace that is prevailing to continue to obtain,” she said.
Insp Simango commended members of the public for also reporting the crime on time, saying swift crime reporting helps the police to react quickly.