By Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu
Two mine workers died after a 30-metre-deep shaft they were working in collapsed. Matabeleland South acting provincial police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Thabani Mkhwananzi confirmed the incident which occurred on Friday at around 1PM at Mix Note Mine in West Nicholson.
He said the now deceased Alex Shumbayinwe and the other only identified as Talent were extracting gold from the shaft when the incident occurred.
“I can confirm that we recorded a mine accident which occurred at Mix Note Mine in West Nicholson. Two male adults Alex Shumbayinwe and another only identified as Talent were working in a shaft about 30 metres deep extracting gold when the shaft collapsed burying them underneath.
“The matter was reported to the police who attended the scene and the bodies were retrieved from the shaft. The bodies were ferried to the Gwanda Provincial Hospital Mortuary. Investigations are underway,” he said.
Asst Insp Mkhwananzi urged mine owners to ensure that their workers operated from safe environments in order to avoid loss of life.
He said workers were also supposed to operate with protective clothing and proper equipment.
Asst Insp Mkhwananzi said the province continues to record a number of fatal mine accidents most of them as a result of negligence.
“Mine owners must ensure that their workers have proper mining equipment, protective clothing and work from safe environments. They shouldn’t only focus on getting income but they must also invest in the safety of their workers,” he said.
In an interview, Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) Matabeleland South provincial chairman, Mr Philemon Mokuele said it was disturbing that lives continue to be lost in mine accidents.
He said they have engaged the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development and other relevant departments to conduct a workshop for miners on health and safety issues.
Mr Mokuele said they will also address the issue of formalising operations and following requirements. The Chronicle