ONE person was killed, while three others were seriously injured when Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) Private Limited security guards fired at over 200 armed illegal diamond panners who broke into the firm’s premises in Chiadzwa last week.
The panners intended to pounce on the plant’s main diamond sorting room. Manicaland provincial police spokesperson Inspector Tavhiringwa Kakohwa confirmed the incident which occurred on July 18 at around 3am.
“I cannot say much as our officers are still investigating the case,” he said. ZCDC chief executive officer Dr Moris Mpofu said the company’s security department was working with the police over the case.
“The case is under investigation and our security guys are working with the police. There is no security threat at the mine and the situation is under control,” he said.
It is alleged that illegal panners cut the security fence around the Red Zone of Portal A diamond mining area at the plant.
They were armed with wrenches and machetes, while singing threatening songs.
As the panners marched towards the main sorting room, they were intercepted by security guards who were manning the area.
“The security guards ordered them to leave the mining site, but they resisted and threw stones at them. One of the guards fired three warning shots in the air in a bid to disperse the illegal panners but they kept on marching towards the sorting room.”
“Upon realising that they were now under fierce attack, the eight security guards started firing towards the advancing illegal panners,” said a source.
“Three of the panners were shot and injured. The other group members ran away in different directions.
“Of those injured, one was shot on the right hip and fell to the ground crying for help. He bled profusely. The security guards had to use a company vehicle to take him to Mutare Provincial Hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.”
The case which was reported at ZRP Marange has since been referred to CID Mutare’s homicide section.
Detectives were still to interview the security guards who were on duty as they were said to be off for two weeks.
Police were also still to establish the identity of the deceased.-herald