AN artisanal miner from Bulawayo, who could not stomach seeing his wife living with another man, allegedly tried to kill his rival with a commercial-grade explosive in Luveve suburb on Tuesday.
In recent weeks artisanal miners have been involved in attacks which have left people dead or injured.
Yesterday it was reported that five artisanal miners assaulted and tortured two brothers with an electric shocker resulting in the death of one of the siblings.
The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission has also raised concern over the resurgence of violence among artisanal miners.
In Luveve, the explosion tore a hole into the house where dreadlocked Anderson Sibanda (30) was allegedly cohabiting with Khulani Nyoni (35)’s wife Gracious Sibanda (22).
It destroyed eight window panes and shredded two asbestos roofing sheets from the house while rattling windows of nearby houses.
Anderson was having a Bible study with two other people when the deafening explosion ripped through the house at around 11 pm. The attacker, suspected to be Nyoni, placed the explosive beneath a window beside Anderson’s bed.
He had allegedly been sending Anderson and his siblings messages, threatening to kill him and burn down his lodgings if he continued the affair with his wife. Luckily, no one was hurt and Gracious was said to be out of town.
Almost the entire neighbourhood around Luveve Stadium was jarred awake and panicky residents rushed out of their houses after the blast.
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Inside Anderson’s home, the three men appeared to have been knocked senseless by the force of the explosion. They told the Chronicle how they crawled around the debris wondering what had happened.
Eventually, one of them switched off the light as they thought someone was firing a gun at them and they did not want to present clear targets.
A source close to families involved in the love triangle said Nyoni recently attacked Anderson and pulled out some of his dreadlocks.
The source alleged Nyoni once kidnapped Anderson, tied his hands behind his back and forced him to walk from the tollgate at Umguza to Luveve, a distance of about 25 kilometres. One of the three men who were in the house, Mr Navigator Dube (28) said the blast paralysed them.
“We were having Bible studies when suddenly a loud explosion almost blew out our eardrums. We did not know what it was. We did not know whether it was the sound of a gun or bomb. It was a terrifying moment. We were all in shock. We first hid behind sofas but later crawled towards the door,” said a shaken Mr Dube.
He said he was certain the explosion was targeting Anderson.
“This guy (Nyoni) has been hunting for Anderson for some time. He came with Gracious after locating her in Cowdray Park and forced her to pack her clothes and left with her. That is when he saw where Anderson stays. I understand Gracious managed to get a peace order against Khulani but it seems he did not give up,” said Mr Dube.
“The last time he came here he was carrying a bottle which was covered. I do not know what was inside but I could tell that the man was up to something. It was clear he wanted a fight with Anderson. Anderson reported him at Luveve Police Station and police sought to enforce the peace order,” he said.
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“The way the whole explosion was set up it is clear it was meant to kill Anderson. It was set on the side of the bed where he sleeps. It was well planned to hit him. He is lucky to be alive otherwise we would be talking of something else.”
He said police collected some remains of the explosives after attending the scene.
“After the police attended the scene they came again in the morning with CID and army guys. They said the explosive is used in mining. The police took Anderson with them,” he said.
Inside the room targeted by the explosion, debris from the wall and shattered window panes covered the bed. The wardrobe was also covered in dust while the stove at the other corner was covered with wall plaster and broken asbestos. Second-hand clothes for sale were strewn around the room.
House owner, Mr Nelson Dube (71), said he was phoned on Tuesday night from his rural home in Water Falls along the Bulawayo-Nkayi Road and told about the explosion.
“As you can see my house has been destroyed, the front windows are all gone, the wall cracked while part of the roof is also destroyed. I have reported the incident to Bulawayo City Council local housing. Unfortunately they said they do not have fuel to come and inspect the building. I don’t even know how I will fix my house. I’m a pensioner getting $500 monthly. The perpetrator must be made to pay for the damage,” he said.
He said Anderson and Gracious were staying in Cowdray Park before lodging at his house. “I suspect they were running away from this artisanal miner. The woman at the centre of this is pregnant and it is very difficult to understand what was happening between them. She left here on Saturday I don’t know where she went. I hope the police will solve this,” said the landlord.
Acting Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele said: “Police in Bulawayo are investigating the explosion that happened at a house in Luveve on Tuesday night. We will release more details tomorrow.” Chronicle