A gold dealer who fatally shot a member of a rival mining gang in Esigodini, Baron Dube, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
High Court judge, Justice Maxwell Takuva, convicted and sentenced Dube (44) of a murder charge in connection with the death of one Prince Antony Bvundura (22) using a Voere 458 calibre rifle.
Dube, after a year long trial, was found guilty of shooting Bvundura in September 2018 in the midst of a fight over a mining claim at Block 13 Atlas Mine in Esigodini.
The shooting incident occurred at a farm belonging to one Tendai Musanangura whom Dube claimed had authorised him to occupy it.
Justice Takuva, in his judgment, said there was overwhelming evidence against Dube despite his plea of not guilty.
“You lied to this court that you had been granted authority to occupy the farm where the mine is situated but in his evidence, the owner of farm, Musanangura, denied granting such authority. Both yourself and the now deceased had no authority to be in that area. You also told this court in your defence that the firearm accidentally discharged yet there had been an exchange of fire prior to the fateful incident.”
Dube, through his lawyer, Leopold Mudisi of Mutendi, Mudisi and Shumba Legal Practitioners, had told the court that his firearm accidentally discharged after he stepped on a rock as he was running away from a mob which was pelting him with stones.
In his defence, he further explained to the court that on the fateful day his gun was not loaded and he only got to learn that he had shot and killed a man the following day when police officers arrested him.
However, the police who testified in court said Dube’s gun was loaded with seven rounds of ammunition.
For the State, Sifiso Ndlovu-Sibanda narrated to the court that on September 26, 2018, Bvundura went to work at Block 13 Atlas Mine in Esigodini together with his workmates.
She said on the same day, Dube arranged a gang of about 20 people whom he instructed to disperse everyone and take over the mine where there was a gold rush.
“At about 11PM, Dube armed himself with two guns, a revolver and a rifle. His accomplices were carrying machetes, axes, shovels and picks,” said Ndlovu-Sibanda.
“He drove to the mine in his Toyota Land Cruiser with his gang and on arrival at the mine, he chased away all miners, claiming he had been granted authority to operate at the mine by the owner.”
She said Bvundura was shot while fleeing from the shooting scene.