A teenage gold panner in the company of five colleagues was shot dead after they raided a gold mine in Guruve and attacked three security guards.
The teenagers, aged between 15 and 19, were reportedly armed with stones and a firearm when the incident occurred on Monday afternoon.
Investigations carried out so far revealed that the teenagers had gone to the mine to confront the guards after one of them, aged 15, had earlier been caught illegally searching for gold ore at the premises.
The 15-year-old teenager was made to roll on some ashes at the mine before being released. After being released, he then went and informed his colleagues, and together they ganged up to attack the security guards.
This resulted in one of the guards who was armed with a rifle firing shots, which hit the other teenager on the shoulder and he died on the spot.
Police have since arrested the security guard and investigations are still in progress.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident.
“We can confirm that a security guard at a mine in Guruve has been arrested for the killing of a 17-year-old juvenile whom he shot with a rifle,” he said.
Asst Comm Nyathi added that: “The arrest comes after a 15-year-old had earlier on been caught at the mine which was being guarded by the accused person and his workmates who made him to roll on some ashes. He later returned to the mine with his friends to confront the accused person over the issue.
“The youths became violent and attacked the security guards with stones, prompting the accused person to open fire, shooting the 17-year-old on the shoulder and killing him instantly.”
He said investigations were still in progress.
The shooting incident comes in the wake of recent reports of machete gangs resurfacing countrywide, targeting individuals with large amounts of cash.
This has prompted police to relaunch “Operation Chikorokoza Ngachipere/Isitsheketsha Kasipele” and “No to Machete-Wielding Gangs”.
A few months ago, police restored order in mining areas after taking on the gangs, arresting large numbers and thwarting a wave of violence.
Since January this year, 12 501 machete gang members and other criminal elements had been arrested in mining communities countrywide.
Between August 29 and 30, 65 people were arrested in Mazowe for criminal trespass, failure to observe national lockdown regulations, and theft of gold ore during the ongoing operation.
The ZRP also accounted for 13 suspects on Tuesday in another ongoing operation to protect Upper Mazowe National Monument against illegal mining, illegal settlers, and any other illegal activities taking place thereat.
According to statistics to date, 105 arrests have been arrested in the area.
Meanwhile, an unidentified woman was found dead in a bushy area in Chegutu with two deep cuts on her head.
Two blood-stained stones were found near the body.
The body was taken to Kadoma Hospital mortuary for post mortem.
Another man’s body with a stab wound on the left side of the chest was also discovered in Cowdray Park, Bulawayo on Monday.