Human bones shock Gwanda residents

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THE chilling discovery of human remains of at least four people in a disused mine shaft in Gwanda last week has left residents in fear and shock, with many of them calling on the police to intensify investigations.

Report by Albert Ncube

Many of the residents, who spoke on condition of anonymity, feared the victims could have been killed for political reasons.

Some blamed the police for not taking the matter seriously after mine workers were allowed to continue operating at the scene, raising fears that they could tamper with evidence.

“How do you allow people to work where skulls have been discovered? The police were supposed to treat that mineshaft as a crime scene and seal the area before taking over the exhumations, but here we have a case where gold panners dug the remains themselves for almost a week, in the process tampering with crucial evidence,” a resident said on condition of anonymity.

Human skulls and bones were found along with black plastic bags, red and grey blankets, ropes, wires, shoes and clothes.

The findings suggested the victims could have been killed before being thrown into the 26m deep mine shaft.

“The political history of Zimbabwe suggests disused mines are and were used for such executions, like the Bhalagwe situation,” Petros Mukwena, a veteran politician, said.

A number of bodies were reportedly thrown in a mine shaft after alleged execution at the height of the Gukurahundi massacres in the 1980s.

The mine where the bodies were found in was shut down a few years ago, but already there are conflicting reports on why operations ceased.

Gold panners maintain the mine had been profitable prior to its shut down in 2006 following the government’s crackdown on illegal gold panning activities in an operation codenamed “Operation Isitsheketsha Siphelile”.

Some people have speculated that the remains could have been victims of the Gukurahundi massacres.

Police spokesperson, Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi last week said a forensic examination would be undertaken on the bones. However, yesterday he accused this paper of drawing its own conclusions on the matter.

“Why are you seeking a comment when I told you. You have already made conclusions on the matter from what you are writing,” he said before asking this reporter to call after an hour.

Efforts to get a comment from the police spokesman later proved fruitless. He said he was in a meeting, with his mobile phone going unanswered later.

2 COMMENTS

  1. WHY MUST PPL IN GWANDA BE SURPRISED BY THIS FIND ? ALL OVER MATEBELELAND, HUNDREDS OF BODIES LIE IN SUCH PLACES. WHEE DO YOU THINK ALL MISSING PPL ARE ? WAKE UP PPL OF MATEBELELAND AND MIDLANDS. THIS IS PRECISELY WHY ZANU PF WILL NOT LET GO OF GVT. THIS IS THE MAJOR REASON. TRUTH WILL COME OUT AS LONG AS PPL IN THOSE REGIONS VOTE FOR CHANGE OR PROTEST AGAINST RIGGING

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