Zimbabwe: Corruption and inadequate monitoring of mining activities by govt. are leading causes of fatalities, argues mining federation

Author: Lisa Tazviinga, The Zimbabwe Independent, Published on: 8 July 2019

‘Inadequate supervision worsens mining deaths’ 5 July 2019

The mining industry has suffered several fatal accidents over the past 12 months, mainly because of corruption and inadequate monitoring of mining activities by government. This comes at a time when illegal artisanal gold mining activities have been on the increase. Over the past year, several accidents have been recorded; including the flooding of Battlefields mine in Kadoma, which killed 28 people and the collapse of Eldorado mine in Chinhoyi, killing 11 men in two separate incidents. Other accidents include the collapse of Shurugwi’s Wonderer mine, trapping over 50 artisanal and illegal gold miners underground and the Nugget gold mine collapse in May, which killed eight people, as well as the blast at Mazowe mine in which eight people died.

Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) spokesperson Dosman Mangisi said unmonitored mining activities are the root cause of the accidents. “The major causes of these accidents are unsupervised mining operations, lack of people who can lead and monitor operations, especially on areas of drilling and blasting, that is where we see a number of accidents taking place. Dewatering and lack of proper maintenance in the shaft development are also among the major causes. The situation could be controlled if government licenced these artisanal miners,” Mangisi said.

... “It is high time someone made some noise concerning these accidents. It is not right because these miners are being prejudiced and manipulated by politicians, yet through the bill, they could have the authorisation to operate in their own capacity. “If the Minister (of Mines) really wants the Bill to work, he should go and stop illegal mining. He should also deploy soldiers and police officers to guard the area for a period of six months, while he processes the Bill, after which miners will be legalised and regulated by law to ensure their safety, thereby reducing accidents and deaths being recorded,” Mliswa said.

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