VIDEO: Machete war at gold mine. . . Two dead, community project shut down

Scenes from the violent skirmishes at Gaika Mine in Kwekwe

Scenes from the violent skirmishes at Gaika Mine in Kwekwe

Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
GAIKA Gold Mine in Kwekwe, which recently opened under a Community Ownership Trust, has temporarily ceased operations following the death of two people after a war of machetes broke out.

The mine, which has been closed for the past 20 years, was reopened in February following the intervention of Mbizo Legislator Cde Vongaiishe Mpereri as a Community Ownership Trust where youths take turns to extract the precious mineral.

But violence has reared its ugly head at the mine last week with machete wars being the order of the day as the youths reportedly fight for pits.

Two people, a security guard manning the mine and a youth, have reportedly died while several others were injured as a result of the violent running battles.

Midlands Provincial Police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende said the reports were yet to reach her office.

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“I will check but I am yet to receive any report of that nature, I will come back to you after confirming,” she said.

Cde Mpereri, who chairs the Trust, confirmed the reports and blamed youths from other towns for causing the chaos.

“The people who are behind these deaths are not from Kwekwe, they are outsiders who have heard that Gaika is paying and come during the night to steal gold ore that would have been mined by others,” he said.

Cde Mpereri said activities run from 7AM to7PM every day and no one is allowed to conduct any mining activities during the night.

“We have had problems with people from places like Shurugwi and Zvishavane who come here with evil intentions and cause havoc. They come during the night when people have knocked off and steal gold ore, that is when they have problems with our security personnel,” he said.

“This is the main reason why we do not want outsiders to come in because they cause problems, ever since we resumed operations, we have been doing it in peace,” said Cde Mpereri.

He, however, could not be drawn into discussing the deaths saying the matter was in the hands of the police.

Cde Mpereri said security measures have been taken to ensure the safety of miners.

“We have managed to resolve the matter but it is unfortunate that I cannot divulge measures that we have taken, but I can assure you that security has been improved and anyone caught with a machete will be in for it,” he said.

gaika 2

Cde Mpereri said operations have since resumed after a schedule with proper details of every member conducting activities at the mine was registered with the authorities.

“We have beefed up security. We have also created a register where everyone who is undertaking activities so that we can easily trace them. Those from outside Kwekwe will not be allowed as they cause problems,” he said.

“This is part of our youth empowerment projects and if someone wants to disturb such a programme, they will face the consequences. We cannot be disturbed by two or three selfish individuals”.

The mine has reportedly benefitted more than 2 000 youths from Kwekwe and surrounding areas like Zhombe and Silobela.

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  • mambo

    More than 40 youths hane died at those pits,why are you reporting on those two deaths only?is it because the pits where hi-jacked by Ngwenas mafia?the truth is known stop your biased reporting chronicle.

    • musa

      tell me more

      • Sfiso Moyo

        I also find divorce reaffirming in a strange way.

    • Freedom Sibanda

      Don’t be full of exaggeration, i work there, the chronicle is hundred percent correct on this issue from first sentence to last

      • Sikhulile Beyonce Moyo

        Me and my wife are 40 and have two children

  • Worried Citizen

    anyone not from Kwekwe is not allowed. does that make sense from as aspiring national leader?

    you do not want people from Zvishavane and Shurugwi..really?

  • nsimbi

    this is before the elections that scenes like this appear

  • Galveston

    A tragic tale of death and destruction. And for what? Bits of gold that are not enough to enrich the thousands who extract it at the affected mine! Anyway, the situation is characteristic of the chaos that occurs where criteria in the extraction of a precious resource is lowered in order to allow a free for all mining environment to exist. A similar situation was seen in North America during the nineteenth century and is popularly featured in old “cowboy and crooks” movies. What it tells us is that the morals of people usually deteriorate in equal proportion to situations where opportunities to get rich very quickly arise. It’s happening more frequently in our gold rich region where opportunists from all over the country are crowding locals out of areas where the mineral is in abundance. In order for the situation to normalise, the authorities will need to return to apply restrictive measures which will ensure that the free for all element is removed from the extraction industry!

    • Mthwakazi

      Your analysis is good, you’d do well in cake decoration and a PHDhd in water purification?

  • mathe

    engani sokuse Rwanda ngalowana myaka, amabhemba avele ngaphi

  • Msongelwa.

    All those found on the wrong side of law they must be apprehended so they that they face full wrapth of justice system, why killing each other coz everyone is trying to make a living in a country where there is 90 percent unemployment it’s obvious that people will turn into all this dangerous mining activities , I condemn anyone who doesn’t value human life regardless of region, tribe u are from umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu.

  • Martin Makanza

    Gaika mine has never ceased operations. To say it recently opened as a Community project is incorrect. The correct position is that it was recently invaded by hoards of “makorokozas” encouraged by some politicians who seek immediate financial benefit plus votes in the upcoming national elections. Whatever the reasons for the invasion are the sad truth is that the invasion flies in the face of Zimbabwe is open for business mantra when we still do not respect private property ownership. A disturbing dimension to the chaos at Gaika mine is that the people behind the invasion barred ZRP from policing in and around the mine until murdered people were discovered at the mine. Gaika mine is a now a low grade mine with all the high grade material having been mined out from underground.Subsequent mine owners mined the oxidised gold deposit above the underground workings leaving a huge pit above the working’s which are now flooded. The physical condition of the workings can best be described as unstable and very dangerous and should be closed to the public. The place is simply an accident waiting to happen. It would not come as a surprise if some “makarokoza” have been murdered here and the bodies left to rot in accessible places. The authoritie’s should just step in and stop this rot because the downside outweigh the benefits of this ill thought out “community” project. The politicians involved in this scandal should be barred from running for public office because they are an embarrassment to the country.