Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Trapped miners’ families plead for assistance

By Conrad Mupesa

The families of four Task Mining Syndicate workers in Chegutu whose bodies are still trapped underground are appealing for financial assistance to pay artisanal miners who have volunteered to carry out the retrieval exercise.

Some of the illegal miners search for their colleagues who are believed to be trapped underground after a shaft collapse at Nugget Mine in Matobo
File picture of illegal miners searching for their colleagues who were believed to be trapped underground after a shaft collapse at Nugget Mine in Matobo (2019)

The artisanal miners were initially demanding US$1 600 from all the families to retrieve the four bodies but the figure has since been reduced to US$1 000, US$250 for each body.

The four were part of five artisanal miners who were trapped after a shaft collapsed at the mine on September, 8.

The artisanal miners, who have been conducting the rescue efforts, made a breakthrough on October, 30 and retrieved the body of Shingai Gwatidzo (20).

Shingai’s body was laid to rest at Borgan Villa in Mhondoro over a week ago.

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Apart from Gwatidzo, the other bodies yet to be retrieved are those of Munashe Nyamukanga (16), Charles Mutume (31), Crynos Nyamukanga (44) and Constantino Dzinoreva (47).

Ms Ellen Nyongoro (34), who is on of Crynos Nyamukanga’s two wives and mother to Munashe, whose bodies are still trapped underground, said the rescuers were requesting US$500 from them.

“We are appealing for well-wishers to assist us with money these rescuers are demanding,” she said.

“They first asked for US$1 600 from all the families but after several meetings, they reduced the figure to US$1 000, meaning that they want US$250 to retrieve each body,” she said.

She said that they had managed to raise US$240 ($60 per body) as the four families, which they handed over to the miners on Tuesday but they were demanding to be paid the rest of the money.

Some of the families appealed for corporates to assist them.

The artisanal miners who spoke to The Herald confirmed that they wanted to be paid for their efforts.

“We are putting our lives on the line, yet we are getting nothing from the Government, the mining syndicate or the families,” said a member of the rescue team who requested anonymity. The Herald