Security guard gets 25 years in jail for shooting and killing an illegal gold miner

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Security Guard receives 25-year sentence for fatally shooting illegal miner at Shamva Gold Mine

A former soldier and security guard at Shamva Gold Mine, Jeremiah Saungweme (48), has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for shooting and killing an illegal artisanal miner during a confrontation with a gang that had invaded the minefields.

The verdict was delivered by High Court judge, Justice Munamato Mutevedzi, who condemned Saungweme’s actions as overzealous and inexcusable. The judge stated that there was no justification for pursuing the miners as they were already leaving the site voluntarily.

Justice Mutevedzi emphasized that as a large corporation, Shamva Gold Mine had alternative lawful means to protect its assets without resorting to indiscriminate killing of individuals seeking to make a living from the mineral resources in their area. The judge labelled the killing of the miner as inexcusable and criticized Saungweme for his complete disregard for human life.

“There was no need to pursue them because they were leaving the site on their own volition.

“From my understanding, Shamva Gold Mine is a conglomerate. There was no reason he had to be as zealous as he exhibited in this case.

“The large corporation that the gold mine is, surely had at its disposal other lawful means of protecting its assets than the indiscriminate killing of locals who wanted to eke a living from the mineral resources around them.

“The killing of the deceased was therefore inexcusable,” Justice Mutevedzi said.

Furthermore, the judge highlighted that Saungweme failed to provide any assistance to the victim after shooting him, demonstrating a lack of compassion. The court acknowledged that Saungweme was misguided in believing that killing was necessary to protect the mine’s assets.

“He unfortunately showed a complete disregard for human life by failing to assist the deceased at the time that he shot him.

“Even grave as the injuries were, the least the offender could have done was to attempt to help. He did not,” ruled the judge.

It was established during the trial that the deceased and his accomplices were engaged in illegal mining activities within the gold minefields.

According to the prosecution, Saungweme responded to an invasion at the mine and pursued the panners along with three other security guards. Saungweme, who was armed with a revolver, specifically targeted the deceased. In a bushy area, Saungweme shot the miner in the back of the head, resulting in instantaneous death.

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