Mine worker falls 160 me­tres to death

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Richard Muponde

A WORKER at Vum­bachikwe gold mine in Gwanda died yes­ter­day morn­ing after plung­ing for about 160 me­tres down a shaft.

The in­ci­dent oc­curred as work­ers were re­port­ing for duty.

Mata­bele­land South po­lice spokesper­son In­spec­tor Philisani Nde­bele con­firmed the in­ci­dent.

“I can con­firm that a worker at Vum­bachikwe Mine plunged to death in the morn­ing when he was go­ing down a shaft to per­form his du­ties. Po­lice are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mat­ter and more de­tails will come in due course,” said Insp Nde­bele.

He iden­ti­fied the de­ceased as Mu­gov­e­washe Kwashira (27) and said the body was taken to Gwanda pro­vin­cial hos­pi­tal for a post­mortem.

A source who spoke to The Chron­i­cle on con­di­tion of anonymity said Kwashira slipped from a “lad­der” which he was us­ing to go down the shaft.

“The con­veyor cage which the work­ers al­ways use to go down the mine was down so man­age­ment au­tho­rised that their work­ers use a lad­der to go down the shaft. Some of the work­ers man­aged to go down but when Kwashira’s turn came, he slipped and plunged about 160 me­tres to his death,” said the source.

“In­stead of sus­pend­ing op­er­a­tions await­ing re­pair of the con­veyor cage, the mine man­age­ment in­sisted that the work­ers use the lad­der down the shaft. The other prob­lem is that it ap­peared Kwashira had no safety belt to har­ness him to the lad­der hence he slipped and plunged down the full depth of the shaft lead­ing to his death.”

The lat­est in­ci­dent comes barely a year after an em­ployee at Jessie Mine on the out­skirts of Gwanda was also crushed to death after a boul­der weigh­ing more than a tonne fell on him while he was un­der­ground.

In 2014, another Vum­bachikwe Mine worker died after he was crushed to death when a boul­der weigh­ing more than 1 000 kilo­grammes fell on him.

Ef­forts to get a com­ment from the mine’s man­age­ment were fruit­less. — @pamssmup.

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