A WELL-KNOWN gold baron in Esigodini, Baron Dube, is battling for life at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) after he was axed on Sunday night in a fight over mining claims.
Dube is nursing multiple axe and knife stab wounds after he was viciously attacked by a rival gang.
Matabeleland South provincial police spokesperson Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele yesterday said they had not received a report on the attack.
UBH spokesperson Nobuhle Thaka yesterday confirmed that Dube was admitted at the health institution.
“I don’t know what he deals in, but I can confirm that we have such a patient by the name Baron Dube. He was admitted here on Sunday night, coming from Esigodini,” she said.
A source close to the events, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Dube was attacked on Sunday at Habane township by a group of rival gold panners.
“They approached him armed with machetes, pangas, spears, knives and axes. The fight was over gold claims in the district,” the source said.
“Dube and his gang were outnumbered and he was axed in the head several times as well as stabbed several times in the stomach. He was rushed to Esigodini Hospital where he was transferred to UBH.”
Dube is no stranger to gold wars, which have become rife in the region.
He is currently on $2 000 bail pending trial at the High Court for allegedly shooting and killing a member of a rival mining gang, Antony Bvundura, in October last year in a fight over a mining claim in Esigodini.
In 2016, he and another gold baron, Mthulisi Ngwenya, were involved in a seven-hour fight for control of gold claims in the district.
Dube is said to lead a group of panners from Filabusi who operate in Esigodini.