Whinsley Masara, Sunday News Correspondent
A MAN has been found dead on a railway line in Esigodini with two deep cuts on his head, an incident that has become the latest in a series of murders associated to gold wars that have rocked the area in the past months.
Residents said the man whose name could not immediately be ascertained, is a brother to a well-known gold panner in the area who is from Nkayi. The body was discovered with two deep cuts on the head by a passerby around 1am on Friday.
He was last seen at Anthens Store, Habane Business Centre at around 8pm. Matabeleland South acting police spokesperson Sergeant Thandolwenkosi Moyo confirmed the incident.
“I can confirm that we received a report of an unidentified man whose body was found on the railway line. In the meantime we are treating the matter as sudden death while investigations are being made. The body has since been taken to Esigodini District Hospital waiting to be conveyed to United Bulawayo Hospital for post mortem,” he said.
Member of Parliament for Umzingwane Retired Brigadier General Retired Levi Mayihlome said the community was saddened by yet another callous murder of the young man in the area.
“As residents, let us never give in to criminals who are out to destroy our peaceful nature. Nevertheless, to the political leadership I want to say that without formalisation of the informal mining sector such crimes and negative impact on people’s lives will never end. No amount of policing even by the Support Unit or the military will eradicate these ills without the political resolve to regularise the informal mining sector. This must be done like yesterday. To those responsible for this latest murder I want to say, there is nowhere to hide or to run. One day soon, the law will catch up with you,” he said.
The latest episode in Esigodini comes at a time when residents have complained that gangs of panners have turned Esigodini centre into a mini war zone by unleashing a reign of terror using dangerous weapons.
They say a number of people have been killed and their bodies dumped on the railway line to appear as though they committed suicide by throwing themselves in front of moving trains.