A POLICE officer was on Saturday bludgeoned to death, while his colleague was injured in an attack by machete-wielding artisanal miners who had invaded Good Hope Mine in Kadoma.
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said they were still investigating the incident. “We are still gathering facts surrounding the case,” he said.
According to a leaked Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) memorandum seen by NewsDay, Constable Wonder Hokoyo (27) fell victim to the machete wars on December 28.
Hokoyo was among four officers guarding the mine and were armed with two FN riffles, but were overpowered by the gold panners who were armed with axes and machetes.
Three suspects only identified as Mike, Kwedaz and Givy were apprehended while other miners are still at large.
“On December 28 at around 1400 hours, the accused persons, with many others who are still at large, proceeded to the vicinity armed with machetes, catapults and axes and forcefully took control of the mine shafts there by dispersing the genuine miners who were extracting gold ore,” the memo read.
“The police details reacted to the accused persons approach and fired some warning shots into the air to scare away the accused persons, but they did not take heed, instead the accused persons advanced towards the police in a bid to attack.
“One of the accused persons attacked Constable Hokoyo from behind and struck him once at the back of the head using a (wood) log and disarmed him leaving the police officer with no option rather than (sic) to escape from the attack.”
The memo further read: “The accused disarmed Constable Kamhuka before he escaped from the scene after being assaulted all over the body, the rest of the police officers managed to escape after noticing that their lives were under threat.
“The accused made a frantic chase to (sic) Constable Hokoyo and struck him all over his body using machetes and axes leaving him lying lifeless, Constable Hokoyo later died due to injuries sustained as a result of the attack (sic).”
The matter was reported at Battlefields Police Station under RRB number 41295128. Constable Kamhuka is currently admitted at Kadoma hospital.
Mashonaland West police spokesperson Inspector Clemence Mabweazara could not be reached for comment.
The memo also states that former legislator for Muzvezve Constituency Peter Haritatos, who is the owner of Brompton Mine, Battlefieds Kadoma gave mining claims to Zanu PF provincial secretary for Mashonaland West Philmon Ndushu in 2010. The claims include Maglass, Goodhope, Alexander, Musakanene, Moddi, Ngangana, Bongola and Copper mines.
Since August, over 105 people have died in machete wars.
The majority of the machete hit squads, infamously known as MaShurugwi and the Al-Shabaab, come from President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s home province of Midlands and have invaded claims in Mashonaland Central, West, Matabeleland provinces and Manicaland to terrorise locals.