Police authorities in Matabeleland South province have reported that two illegal miners perished following the horrific collapse of a mine shaft they were working in Wednesday this week.

The tragic incident occured at the Majoda panning site, said Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) provincial spokesperson Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele while speaking to the state media.

Chief Inspector Ndebele said Kenneth Mathuthu (22) and Prosper Mbedzi both from the River Block area in Collen Bawn perished on the spot after they were buried in the mine collapse.

“I can confirm that we recorded a sudden death case where two illegal gold panners died after a shaft they were working in collapsed. Kenneth Mathuthu and Prosper Mbedzi were working in a 12-metre-deep shaft at Majoda Panning Site in West Nicholson when the shaft collapsed and buried them underneath,” he said.

“The matter was reported to the police who attended the scene and the bodies of the two men were retrieved. They were taken to the Gwanda Provincial Hospital Mortuary,” Chief Inspector Ndebele said.

The police also said the public is discouraged from engaging in illegal panning activities which puts their lives at risk and encouraged artisanal miners to standardise their operations by acquiring proper documentation that hardly puts them on a collision course with the country’s laws.

“It’s sad that we continue to record a number of mine accidents as a result of llegal mining activities which are rampant in the province. If people want to engage in mining they should formalise their operations. By engaging in illegal mining they will not only be committing an offence but they will also be putting their lives at risk as they will be operating without necessary equipment and protective clothing,” quipped Chief Inspector Ndebele.

state media
Additional Reporting: Zwnews