Two soldiers based in Chipinge and six other diamond panners were arrested recently after they reportedly fatally assaulted their colleague for swallowing the syndicate’s diamonds.
The suspects — Gift Gamunorwa (25), Samson Sazwe (29), Kudzanai Lazarus (30), Howard Tongai (32), Gift Mutowo (25), RegaiMukumbiri (25), Melusi Maseko (40) and Langton Ndlovu (27) — were on Monday hauled before Mutare provincial magistrate, Miss Nyasha Kuture.
The eight are being charged with murder as defined in Section 47 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9:23.
The deceased diamond panner, Evans Makowa (31), who hails from Mwapamba Village under Chief Marange, was murdered on December 6 in Chiadzwa, Marange.
On the fateful day at around 2.30 pm, the now deceased and the eight accused persons were panning for diamonds in Chishingwi when they picked up some pieces of diamonds.
A dispute arose after the accused persons accused Makowa of swallowing some of the diamonds.
They started assaulting Makowa with logs all over the body, then put him in the boot of a car and drove away to an unknown destination, all the way demanding that he produces the hidden diamonds.
Makowa’s body was found dumped in a bushy area in Muedzengwa Village two days later.
On December 11, Gamunorwa was arrested by members of the public after he was identified as one of the suspects.
Gamunorwa implicated all members of the syndicate during interrogation by homicide detectives, thereby leading to their arrest.