Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Hwange FC join Kamandama memorial

By Sikhumbuzo Moyo

Castle Lager Premier Soccer League side, Hwange FC, yesterday joined thousands of people paying homage to the 427 miners that perished in the Kamandama Mine disaster on June 6, 1972.

Nation Dube
Nation Dube

Head coach, Nation Dube, led his first team to the disaster site after cancelling their morning training session.

“This is a very important and sad day in the history of the company which we are also under as a football club so we couldn’t go for training on a day when the entire community is commemorating those miners that perished. We might not have had a player among those that were underground, but we have relatives and besides that, they died while on duty, generating income for the company,” said Dube.

Legendary former Hwange and Highlanders’ player Barry Daka recently told our sister paper Sunday News that one of their teammates during his time at Hwange, Obert Agayi, lost his father in the catastrophe.

Daka recounted the ordeal of hearing that dozens of people from the community had perished.

“It was a solemn moment for Hwange and the rest of the world. The day had begun like most Wankie days in summer with us the first team training at Old Ground in Lwendulu Village.

“I remember it must have been between 10AM and noon when suddenly there were explosions from the direction of Madumabisa. We did not know what was happening, then there was a sudden gush of dark smoke from that end of the town.

“Remember during those days communication was not as effective as nowadays, we did not have mobile phones, so we were all ignorant of what was really happening and that a fair fraction of the Colliery workforce was no more and that hundreds of wives and children had lost breadwinners,” said Daka.

Daka said he jumped into a sports department car and as they got close to the mine entrance where hundreds of Hwange residents had used any means possible to get to, he said they found teammate Agayi, who worked at the Check Point Office, covered in soot and dust gasping for breath.

There was pandemonium all over as anxious wives, workmates, colleagues and everyone wanted to literally go down the shafts and tunnels to rescue the 427 miners. The Chronicle