In an depressing development, a senior member of the Zimbabwe National Army lost close to twenty herds of cattle after they consumed cyanide that had burst from a safety trench at a gold mine run by the Zimbabwe Republic Police near Beatrice on Wednesday last week.

It is reported that Brigadier General Joe Muzvidziwa’s 18 herds of cattle died on the spot at his Subdivision 5 Welcome Home Farm after consumption of the cyanide blamable on a burst pipe at the police run gold mine.

Sources who spoke to the regional Masvingo Mirror said a safety trench at Joice Mine was washed away by the heavy rains resulting in the poisonous chemical spilling into the farm.

National Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said he was out of the office and he referred questions to Mash East Police spokesperson Tendai Mwanza who could not be reached by the time of going to Print.

Brigadier Muzvidziwa ordered The Mirror reporter to keep his hands off the story.

“Siyana nenyaya iyoyo, haunei nayo (leave that story it has nothing to do with you).

A high-powered Police delegation led by Commissioner Charles Nhete from PGHQ is said to have visited the mine following the incident.

Cyanide is a deadly chemical that has far reaching effects on people the environment and such an incident would not be kept a secret. ZRP has been running the mine since 2016.

Sources said that cyanide used for ore processing at Joice Mine has a 0.08% concentration and at least 5litres spilled into Muzvidziwa’s paddocks. The cyanide dam which burst had an estimated 25litres.

Muzvidziwa’s 41 cattle were driven to the paddocks at around 6am on January 21, 2021 and a herd boy saw the cattle drinking from pools near the mine and the beasts started dying immediately, said a source.