Police shot and killed an alleged leader of illegal gold miners during a shootout in Bindura on Friday.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) national spokesperson Paul Nyathi confirmed the fatal shooting of Claudius Tavazera (21), who was on the police’s list of most wanted persons.
Asst Comm Nyathi said Tavazera and 30 other suspects, who are still at large, were armed with machetes and attacked and kidnapped two employees of Botha Mining Syndicate. He said:
The Zimbabwe Republic Police confirms the death of Claudius Tavazera, who died in a shootout incident that occurred in Bindura on March 4, 2022, at about 1200hrs.
Police received reports of kidnapping and attempted murder where two complainants employed by Botha Mining Syndicate were attacked and kidnapped by a group of approximately 31 illegal gold miners who were armed with machetes, spears, knobkerries, catapults, logs, switches knives and axes.
The suspects attacked the complainants on allegations of planning to drive illegal gold miners out of the Kitsiyatota area.
Nyathi said police officers encountered the gang which attacked the law enforcement agents prompting them to call for reinforcements and to fire four warning shots.
The suspects allegedly ignored the warning shots and attacked the police until Tavazera was shot on the left knee, prompting the other gang members to flee.
The police rescued the Botha Mining Syndicate employees and ferried them to Bindura Hospital together with the suspect.
Nyathi said Tavazera died at Bindura Hospital while receiving treatment.
ZRP has launched a manhunt for other suspects including Kudakwashe Njenge and Behavior Gwaimai.
Tavazera and some of his accomplices were already on the police wanted list over robbery and rape cases that occurred in Chinhamhora.