Artisanal miner killed in mine collapse

A young artisanal miner was killed on Wednesday morning when a mine collapsed while he was digging for gold in Kensington, Bulawayo.

The 18-year-old man, Vusumuzi Chidziwa, was with 11 other miners in the mine shaft when it collapsed around 4 am.

Bulawayo province police spokesperson, Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed the incident.

Insp Ncube said, Chidziwa, in the company of 11 other artisanal miners went to a mine at Larry Avenue, Kensington. 

He said Chidziwa and three others got into the mine around 11 pm while the rest remained outside and the mine shaft collapsed in the early hours of the morning.

“Police are investigating a case of sudden death where Vusumuzi Chidziwa, a male adult aged 18, of Springs Farm died in a mine shaft,” Insp Ncube said. 

“Circumstances are that on October 10, at around 10 pm, 12 artisanal miners (including Chidziwa) invaded a mine shaft at Larry Avenue. At around 11 pm, Chidziwa and three others got in the shaft and started mining while the others remained sleeping under a tree.” 

Insp Ncube said the mine collapsed around 4 am.

“On October 11, at around 0400 hours, the shaft collapsed at the four were trapped inside. The eight who were outside immediately attended to them. They dug using shovels and managed to remove them all. They rendered them first aid. The other three survived but Chidziwa died,” he said.

“A report was made to the police who subsequently attended the scene. The body of the deceased was conveyed to United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) for postmortem.”

The police spokesperson has urged members of the public to desist from illegal mining activities. However, many people are drawn to artisanal mining because it is one of the few ways to make a living in Zimbabwe’s struggling economy.

Artisanal mining is a common practice in Zimbabwe, but it is also very dangerous.

Mines are often poorly maintained and safety measures are often lacking. As a result, accidents at artisanal mining sites are common.

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