A group of rowdy machete-wielding gangs (Mashurugwi) has reportedly turned Umfurudzi Game Park into a battlefield as they try to get their hands on the gold-rich area’s mining rights, Newsday reports. The group is suspected to be a gang of Zanu PF supporters reportedly taking sides between 2 individuals fighting over mining rights in Game Park.
It is reported that John Manga and Shantelle Chikafu who was once in court for squandering as a member of the first family are fighting over the claims and Mashurugwi are backing Chikafu and thereby turning the Game Park into a battleground.
According to the publication:
On Monday, it is reported there were skirmishes at the game park with Zanu PF youths aligned to Gorerino forcing their way to the gold-rich claims after an excavator had been brought for their use.
Reports are that ever since Chikafu was barred by the courts from mining, Gorerino(Shamva North legislator, Oscar Gorerino) has taken over and his younger brother only identified as Obey is managing the operations.
ZimParks rangers and the area manager Power Mupunga are also alleged to have allowed the Zanu PF youths to get into the game park and illegally mine, reportedly based on the directive from Mangwanya.
When contacted for comment, ZimParks denied having anything to do with mining in the game parks and said:
If there are any criminal activities happening at Umfurudzi Game Park, they should be reported to the police.
Mining in game parks have been a hot topic in the last few months, this story by the Newsday shows that to an extent the practice has continued despite public outcry over the matter.