MAZOWE – A samples trench has claimed the life of a grade three pupil at Metallon Gold Mine in Mazowe while four others were saved.
Young Naison Mangisa drowned in the trench that was dug at Manyuchi Village as the mine excavated gold samples.
Metallon Gold said the mine was sorry for the loss and was taking care of all bills that the Mangisa family was incurring as well as providing the coffin and food for the funeral.
After the collection of samples, residents allege, Metallon Gold never covered the trenches which have been posing great danger to residents as they are situated a few metres from the village.
What irked residents and other workers at the mine was the decision by the mine to fill up trenches in the mountain for fear of further excavation by panners while leaving those near the village.
The Mangisa family yesterday confirmed that the mine was taking care of their needs at the funeral.
“We lost my brother who had gone to play with four other kids near the trench.
“Kids will be kids and they swam in the trench and my brother drowned while another kid managed to save others, said Aaron Mangisa.
Mangisa said residents had had several meetings to make the mine fill up the trenches but nothing was done.
“Now that someone has died in the trenches the mine suddenly decides to deploy a guard there.
“A stitch in time saves nine. We have tried to engage the mine over the trenches for the past four months but all that seemed to have fallen on deaf ears,” Mangisa said.
Another resident who identified as Mamuke said the trenches stretch for close to 200 metres while their width was around three metres.
“I believe the trenches are around four metres deep,” said Mamuke.
Mangisa said while the company had endeavoured to meet funeral costs it was a ‘mockery’ to give them $150 for lost life.
Metallon corporate affairs manager Zenzo Nsimbi said the mine was sorry for the loss to the family and community while they were also taking care of all bills at the funeral.
“It is unfortunate that someone died while we are still working on them. It is unfortunate that we could not cover the trenches while we are still working on the trenches. We are mourning with the family,” said Nsimbi.
He said by continuous exploration of gold they meant no harm to the community but development.
“We are looking for gold to sustain that community and not to bring harm,” he said.