By Kenneth Matimaire
Penhalonga, September 03, 2016 – A 22-year-old Penhalonga man who was shot and injured by trigger happy security guards at a local gold mine last month, is now demanding compensation for the injuries.
David Madzikatire says he was shot at by Redwing Mine guards while accompanying relatives of one Tafadzwa Lewani, a gold panner who had just been fatally shot by security at the Metallon Gold Zimbabwe’s subsidiary.
They had gone to there to notify mine authorities their security had killed their relative before running back into company premises soon after the incident.
But when Madzikatire and the deceased’s relatives got to the gate, the mine security officer ordered the guards to fire.
“Three shots were fired and the third one hit me just above the waist,” he said.
Madzikatire said as a result of the gunshot wounds, he has failed to go to work or eat normally.
“They should compensate me,” he told RadioVOP recently.
“I need to go to work. I need to pay rent and send money to my mother in Watsomba to fend for my siblings. How am I going to do all this when I can’t go to work because of my condition?
“Right now I can’t eat normally. I only eat once in the morning and immediately get full. Chances are that I might suffer from a lifetime complication because of the gunshot wounds.”
Madzikatire further said he has been ignored by the mine authorities when he has made repeated pleas for them to cover his medical bills.
“Since this happened, no one from the company has approached me. They have not even offered to pay for my medical expenses,” he said.
“I am doing it on my own and my relatives had to chip in because I don’t have enough money to seek medical care. At times, I had to seek help to dress my wounds at my workplace because I cannot afford to go to hospital. So they should have the decency to compensate me.”
Efforts to get a comment from Redwing Mines manager Newton Murimirwa were fruitless as his mobile phone was unreachable.
The three guards, William Mutuswa (46) and Benedict Chikanda (53) have appeared before the courts facing attempted murder charges while Cleton Matsika (35) faced murder.
They were released on $100 bail each and ordered to report back to court on September 12.
Meanwhile, Centre for Natural Resources Governance (CNRG), Farai Maguwu said his organisation will facilitate lawyers to assist the victims to demand compensation from the company.
Maguwu further accused government for the chaos affecting artisan miners through failure to both regularise their operations and offer jobs to youths who have resorted to gold mining for a living.
“Government is directly responsible; it’s failing to create employment for this young people. It’s failing to regularise artisanal mining which has become a safety net for hundreds of thousands of jobless youths and even the elderly who were retrenched.
“So this is deplorable and government needs to attend to formalization of artisanal mining sooner than later,” he said.