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Grace Mugabe mine wrangle turns ugly

by Staff reporter
22 Jul 2017 at 10:31hrs | Views
FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe's aides and police officers allegedly fighting on the side of President Robert Mugabe's wife have reportedly "poisoned" mine shafts as a wrangle over a gold-rich claim turned ugly.

The First Lady's aides reportedly with support from police details were said to have gone on the rampage assaulting indigenous miner Pius Madzimure, who claims to be the rightful owner.

Madzimure this week said he had met Mines minister Walter Chidakwa, who had referred the issue to his Home Affairs counterpart Ignatius Chombo.

"I met Minister Chidakwa (on Monday) who said his ministry had done its bit to confirm that the claim is mine. He said the issue of police or people claiming to be representing the First Lady disturbing our operations is better dealt with by Minister Chombo," Madzimure said.

While Chidakwa's mobile went unanswered this week, in April provincial mining commissioner Forbes Mugumbate confirmed Madzimure was the rightful owner of the gold-rich claim.

"Our only role is to confirm ownership of the mining claim and we have done that. Indeed, Madzimure is the owner. All other things, I do not think I am qualified to comment on," Mugumbate said then.

In an emotional rant, Madzimure accused an Inspector Kalosi (Grace's aide at Mazowe Orphanage) of leading the reign of terror.

"On Saturday the 15th of July 2017 the Support Unit bosses led by Kalosi and Assistant Inspector Manda of PPU (Police Protection Unit) came to our mine Elliot 90A and terrorised the place beating my workers and the nearby villagers. Some of my workers were seriously injured.

"They further sprayed the whole place at the mine with (unknown) chemicals including the shafts and inside our tent currently being used as shelter for sleeping and our food as well," Madzimure said.

"It's a white powder that releases a choking smell. We have been forced to abandon everything."

The officer in-charge at Mazowe Police Station identified as Mwisai professed ignorance of the wrangle.

"I have not received a report of that nature and your source should provide you with more detail," Mwisai said.

Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said she had not received the report.

"I have not received that report, but will check," Charamba said.

Kalosi did not deny involvement in the wrangle, but accused Madzimure of lying when contacted for comment.

"It is not the first time that guy is running to the Press. He must tell you people the truth and not lie about what is happening," Kalosi told NewsDay Weekender.

But Madzimure insisted Grace's aides had resorted to terror tactics after "losing the dispute with Ministry of Mines and the courts".

Madzimure added: "These people are fighting against my God-given inheritance. They are trying to steal my blessings from God using all sorts of weapons, but surely they won't win a war against the will of God. They, including their masters, should read the story of Naboth's vineyard in the Bible and see the light".

Grace is also embroiled in a bitter land wrangle with villagers at Manzou Farm while her first child Russell Goreraza from a previous marriage is also entangled in a gold claim fight in Kadoma.

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Source - newsday