Foreign Diamond Dealer Murdered

Laye Fode Kaba was recently strangled to death and robbed of US$14 000 after being lured into Zimbabwe for a non-existent deal.

Police have arrested Tinashe Muhammed (30) and Simbarashe Muyambo (24), in connection with the murder.

The two appeared before magistrate Fabian Feshete on Thursday. They were remanded in custody to December 28 because it was feared they will interfere with witnesses.

The state also argued the release of the accused after the death of a foreigner on Zimbabwean soil would induce pandemonium and jeopardize the public confidence in the Zimbabwe criminal justice system.

For the state, Truman Joma, alleged the two lured Kaba who resided in Mozambique, a safe hub for foreign diamond dealers.

The prosecutor said on November 28, the two Zimbabweans called Kaba in Mozambique and duped him that there was diamond up for sale in Mutare.

Kaba agreed and asked for the accused persons to collect him in Mozambique at his house and smuggle him into the country.

The Prosecutor said on November 29, the two smuggled Kaba into Zimbabwe.

But after crossing the Mutare-Machipanda railway line, near the three kilometre peg, the Zimbabwean men strangled Kaba to death and robbed him of $14 000 and two mobile phones.

As a cover up they placed the body along the railway line and it was dragged by a goods train for about 60 metres before it stopped.

Meanwhile soldiers manning the bloody Chiyadzwa diamond fields were employing ‘illegal miners’ whom they are using to mine the diamonds and sell the mineral on their behalf.

Illegal diamond miners who spoke to Radio VOP said entering in the diamond fields was now not a problem if one has links with the security men manning the area.

Most of them however, complained that they were being used by the soldiers who demand half share of the sold diamonds.

“They are telling ‘their’ miners to recruit more people who will work for them. If you enter through that channel you will be protected but the problem comes after selling the diamonds as the soldiers demand an equal share with you.

“Its difficulty to avoid them (soldiers) when you have sold the diamonds because you will be escorted by to the market,” said Charles Siyamupepe.

“We are being enslaved by soldiers here because how can we have an equal share after the labour we would have gone through? Yes it’s true that they will be protecting us but from who? Imagine after selling my loot for say US$20 000 they demand US$10 000. It’s unfair, “complained Clever Ganyiwa.

A middle ranked soldier deployed in the controversial diamond fields but declined to be named said corruption was the order of the day at Chiyadzwa.

“That’s how most of us are making a living here. Where do you think private soldiers and junior police officers who are here get money to buy those expensive cars, said one soldier.

Human rights organisations have been calling for the withdrawal of soldiers from the area, citing corruption and human rights abuses, but the government said they were there to protect the looting of the precious mineral by illegal miners.