A FRESH gold war has erupted in Mashonaland Central province amid reports government and Zanu PF bigwigs are fighting for the control of a rich gold mine in the Mufurudzi Game Park, the Zim Morning Post has heard.
Sources close to the developments said the war over the control of the mine is ensuing between the owner, John Maungwa, who is being backed by Zanu PF bigwig, Henrieta Rushwaya, who brags that in her camp she has the support of the Game Parks director general Fulton Mangwanya and another camp being fronted by Jimmy Chiomberegwa and being backed by some officers from the president’s office.
Sources said Rushwaya and Chiomberegwa are not the owners of the mine but are battling to win and control Maungwa who is holding ownership certificates.
“It is a nasty battle for control of the mine which even the owner, Maungwa, if he is not careful is likely to lose,” said the source.
“The bigwigs who are backing him now want full control of the mine because it is producing close to one kilogram of gold per day.”
“These bigwigs have been operating at the mine which is currently producing close to one kilogram of gold per day.
“The area is rich but the bigwigs are trying to take it over,” said one of the artisanal miners who operates at one of the mines in the area,” said the source adding that “Rushwaya has even applied for the claim owned by Maungwa. Go to Bindura and check for that file.”
Sources also said no one from police is ready to resolve the dispute because “they are all eating.”
“The police has invested interests because we hear the officer commanding the district (Mushawembiri), the officer commanding the province (Mahoya) and the Mt Darwin assistant inspector (Chipunza) are heavily involved in the mining operations,” the source said.
In an interview with the Zim Morning Post Chiomberegwa could neither confirm nor deny that there is a bloody wrangle over ownership of the gold-rich mine.
“The issue is very sensitive and I would not want to be commenting on it at this time,” Chiomberegwa said.
“There is no doubt that Maungwa needs protection from the bigwigs,” he said.
However, sources close to the developments said Chiomberegwa has been pushed out and fears for his life because those with vested interests are powerful.
“Chiomberegwa fears for his life and the same is likely to happen to Maungwa who is slowly losing grip of the mine.
“Those who have been backing him are too powerful and they are also elbowing him out bit by bit,” the source said.
“Chiomberegwa has been working wigh Maungwa for all alobg but the bigwigs pushed him out and now Maungwa is isolated.
“He is now vulnerable and has been paying some protection fees to Rushwaya and her team. Besides paying protection fees the Rushwaya camp now wants to take over the mine.”
Mashonaland Central Province has seen a massive gold rush with people from all over coming to carry out their artisanal gold mining.
Only last week police had to deploy a whole anti-riot police troop in Mazowe after reports emerged that artisanal miners were taking over the Mazowe range.