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Article

14 Oct 2021

Author:
Leopold Munhende, New Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Explosion at mine could have been avoided had the managers listened to warnings from employees

‘Shock As Villagers Celebrate Deaths Of 6 Chinese At Mazowe Mine’ 9 October 2021

VILLAGERS from around SAS Mine in Mazowe where two gas explosions claimed eight lives have expressed joy following the death of six Chinese nationals who were managers at the site. SAS Mine is a nickel operation. The villagers described the late Chinese managers as stubborn and very disrespectful who ill-treated locals. Two local workers at the mine also died in two separate incidents after oxygen cylinders exploded at the mine Tuesday. Another cylinder exploded Thursday and killed the five Chinese managers and another Zimbabwean. One of the victims was burnt beyond recognition.

… A NewZimbabwe.com crew visited the mine Friday and was told by Mazowe South Ward 2 councillor, Tapera Tapererwa, the Chinese managers had been told to halt all operations after the first explosion that claimed the life of a worker. However, the Chinese miners defied the advised and smuggled workers through a broken fence. They also threatened to take unspecified action against any worker who had raised concerns over their personal safety. NewZimbabwe.com arrived at the mine as police officers were retrieving the dismembered bodies, some with missing body parts after the explosion threw them as far as 200 metres from the blast scene. A worker at the mine, Anyway Teru, said the Chinese managers ignored warnings and did not show any remorse over the death of the first victim Tuesday.

… “We informed the managers and one of them who is now late told us to simply close the valves and offload the cylinders,” he said adding the Chinese managers do not care about the workers’ welfare. “The gases which exploded were leaking when I offloaded them, they had no seals and were leaking while they were still in the truck,” said Hove. “They are not doing anything to ensure the safety of employees. They are buying cheap products and putting workers’ lives in danger,” said Tapererwa. “When we came, they told us they had ordered 10 cylinders, but provided three for analysis, they then proceeded to hide others which we had demanded. They did not even have a first aid kit. “I do not dispute that they have no care, but what could be happening is also a case of miscommunication because these people do not speak Shona or English. We are relying on interpreters for communication.”