By Simbarashe Sithole

TWO artisanal miners, who were recently arrested for allegedly killing two members of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) in a scuffle over girlfriends, heaved a sigh of relief after the charges were on Thursday withdrawn before plea at the Bindura Magistrates’ Courts.

Alexio Gumbato (36) and Job Chitsvimbo (age not given) were released by magistrate Maria Musika after the State failed to link the two with the charges.

Charges against the duo were that on April 19, the pair had a misunderstanding with three soldiers at a bar in Chiwaridzo high–density suburb, Bindura, over girlfriends.

The soldiers, Shaw Tizora (33), Tawanda Garega (35) and Pumulani Khuumani (30), were part of a team that was taking part in rehearsals for Independence Day celebrations in Bindura; they
were camped at Chipadze Secondary School.

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Khuumani was headed for the bar in the company of female friends, Lesley Chitabura (25) and Nyasha Ngozo (19), both from Chipadze suburb, when a scuffle allegedly broke out.

Khuumani allegedly assaulted Chitabura, who screamed for help, attracting the attention of Gumbato and Chitsvimbo, who rushed to the scene armed with knives and attacked the

Tizora and Garega are said to have died from the injuries, while Khuumani was rushed to a nearby police station, where he filed a report, before being taken to Bindura Provincial Hospital. He was treated and discharged.

Tariro Janhi appeared for the State.