Zim man caught with suspected gold
Over 120 years after English prospector, Daniel Francis first came hunting for gold, the precious metal’s irresistible lure has landed a Zimbabwean man in trouble with the law.
Acting on a tip-off, cops swooped on 46-year-old Abel Nyoni at Matsiloje Farms last Wednesday (2 June).
The boys in blue were told Nyoni was a ‘Zama Zama’ – a Zulu term for an individual who illegally digs at abandoned mineshafts in search of metals or minerals.
During the police raid, the Bulawayo native was reportedly found with a substance suspected to contain raw gold.
He was charged with ‘unlawful possession of un-rot precious metals’ and hauled before Francistown Magistrates Court on Friday.
Requesting the suspect be kept behind bars, Prosecutor James Ramatlotla told court investigations were just starting. He also pointed out Nyoni was an illegal immigrant and thus a possible flight risk
“We are to take the exhibit to be examined by the geologist to see what it is. The accused is a foreigner without travelling documents and does not have a fixed address where he stays in Botswana,” stated Ramatlotla.
Nyoni, who turned down the chance to address court, was duly remanded in custody. He is due to appear before the Magistrate again on 8 July.
Meanwhile, Divisional Criminal Investigating Officer Assistant Commissioner of Police, Kutlwano Kaizer Eanya told The Voice his officers received reports of people digging for gold at the farms around Matsiloje.
“That is when the Zimbabwean man was arrested. He was found with soil suspected to be having gold in it. Since the investigations have just commenced, the geologist will be able to tell if it is indeed gold or what,” he explained.
Eanya urged members of the public to refrain from illegal mining, adding the possible maximum sentence for anyone found guilty of unlawful possession of gold is a two-year prison sentence or a minimum fine of P200.