Chinese mine security head shoots four illegal miners in Filabusi

A Chinese head of security at Bunyip Gold Mine in Filabusi, Matabeleland South, shot and injured four illegal miners who entered the mine and allegedly stole two sacks of gold ore.

Police have confirmed the incident, stating that it occurred on April 14, 2024, when a group of 12 illegal miners broke into the mine and engaged in a scuffle with the security personnel.

Two of the injured illegal miners have been admitted to the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) in Bulawayo, with one who was shot in the shoulder requiring a chest drain.

A chest drain is a narrow tube inserted between the ribs to sit in the space between the lung and the chest wall, preventing the backflow of fluid from the tubing into the chest cavity.

Sources informed CITE that the Chinese worker shot at the illegal miners with live ammunition, accusing them of illegally prospecting for gold in the mine.

“Police recovered 13 rounds of live ammunition but have not arrested the miner as they were engaged in talks with the Chinese embassy,” alleged one of the sources.

However, National Police Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi stated that they were still investigating the case to determine what happened, given that the Chinese man is the head of security at the mine.

“Some illegal gold miners are said to have cut the fence and entered the mine through the breather, taking some gold ore in about two sacks in the process, leading to a scuffle,” Nyathi said.

“Then the head of security reacted and fired some shots, but the illegal miners did not comply. The head of security then shot at four of the illegal miners who sustained injuries while the others fled.”

Regarding whether the Chinese worker would be arrested, Asst. Comm. Nyathi stated that the mine was formally registered but the armed illegal miners committed a criminal act.

“There are two aspects to this case: the criminal act by the miners and the shooting incident. This is a registered mine with a valid certificate of operations and permits,” said the national spokesperson.

Asst. Comm. Nyathi said the 12 illegal miners were armed and returned to the mine to attack the security officers.

“The illegal miners later returned and attacked the security officer, taking away the gold ore. They were carrying machetes and other weapons,” he said.

“Police are conducting investigations, and we will issue a detailed statement in due course.”

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