Min­istry launches probe into Vum­bachikwe Mine death

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Richard Muponde Gwanda Cor­re­spon­dent

THE Min­istry of Mines and Min­ing De­vel­op­ment and the po­lice have in­sti­tuted in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the cir­cum­stances lead­ing to the death of a Vum­bachikwe miner on Mon­day.

Mu­gov­e­washe Kwashira (27) died af­ter he slipped from a lad­der he was using to en­ter the shaft, plung­ing 160 me­tres down at the mine in Gwanda Dis­trict.

Vum­bachikwe mine con­sul­tant, Mr Olaf Iversen, who was at the mine yes­ter­day for in­ves­ti­ga­tions said an in­spec­tor from the Min­istry and the po­lice were seized with in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

“As the mine we have also done our in­ves­ti­ga­tions. So far the Min­ing In­spec­tor and ZRP are on the ground do­ing their in­ves­ti­ga­tions. We are now wait­ing for their re­port. How­ever, we have set up mea­sures to avoid the re­cur­rence of such an in­ci­dent,” said Mr Iversen.

He de­nied that work­ers at the mine use con­veyor cages to get down the shaft, say­ing they use lad­ders every day.

“The pic­ture which was painted is that the lad­der was ver­ti­cal. That’s not the case, it’s an in­clined one and work­ers use these lad­ders ev­ery­day to go down the shaft for min­ing.

“The con­vey­ors are only used to carry stone not work­ers. I think this record should be put straight. How­ever, we are sad­dened by the loss of a life in the line of duty,” he said.

Mata­bele­land South po­lice spokesper­son In­spec­tor Philisani Nde­bele said po­lice are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mat­ter.

In 2014 an­other Vum­bachikwe Mine worker died at work af­ter he was crushed by a boul­der weigh­ing more than 1,000 kilo­grammes.

The lat­est in­ci­dent comes barely a year af­ter a Jessie Mine em­ployee, in the same dis­trict, was also crushed to death by a boul­der.

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