- October 3, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
The government has stopped the ongoing rescue operations at Task Mining Syndicate where five miners have been trapped underground since the 8th of September 2020.
Yesterday Chegutu District Development Coordinator Mr. Tomu accompanied by the Police reportedly instructed all the rescue work to cease and all access points to the accident scene sealed. When contacted for comment Tomu confirmed that he had visited the embattled Mine with the Police.
“Yes, we did ask for the halting of operations as we were instructed by the Mines Ministry. It is best you contact the Mines Ministry for comment”.
Part of the documents Tomu handed over read:- Following a fall of ground which occurred and trapped 5 miners at Task Mining Syndicate on the 8th of September 2020, a rescue operation was activated by the District Civil Protection Committee supervised by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development working in liaison with Task Mine until today. A technical report from the Ministry of Mines has shown that operations are proving to be unsuccessful due to the following safety challenges (see doc one and two).
Meanwhile, families of the trapped miners have written to the DDC and Mines Ministry appealing for more time. In a letter signed by five representing each missing miner, the families asked for 14 more days to retrieve the missing family members.
The families said rescuers have assured them there are close to reaching the miners and 14 days should be enough to reach the “Task Five”. The family representatives also lamented the lack of rescue equipment and lack of incentives for rescuers is making the efforts much slower.
Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines Chairperson Hon E Mkaratigwa commenting on the issue said;
“The DA has acted in his capacity as the District Civil Protection Committee Chairperson but it is not customary for us as Zimbabweans not to scale up efforts to rescue our relatives and in particular citizens in danger as the government. All options should be exhausted and if there is a willingness, then there is a way that we can exploit and rescue these people”.
“The approach to these issues should be participatory and consultative also with the affected people because usually, they also have initiatives that can be tapped into. The only challenge is this is an emotional incident and people have to remain objective also, put heads together and act within the shortest possible time. I am very much convinced that the Ministry of Mines should invest more in risk and emergency management to ensure that they are always prepared and able to reduce deaths. The Portfolio Committee’s attention has really been drawn to this matter and we will deliberate and put pressure on the government to ensure that the milky cow continues to produce with lesser hindrances”.
“We should not create another disaster in trying to reduce another and with such approaches, we can cause more emotional damage and hopelessness to the families, relatives, friends and coworkers of the trapped.
The Civil Protection Directorate falls under the domain of the Portfolio Committee of Local Government so we have also been consulting on way forward”.
“Our message as a Committee is, those miners have to be rescued as that will create more confidence especially among these vulnerable miners although disaster risk reduction, preparedness, quick response and rescue are what we need going forward”.
The trapped Miners are Constantino Dzinoreva (47) based in Chegutu, Charles Mutume (31) Based in Zvimba, Shingai Gwatidzo (20) from Mhondoro and brothers Crynos Nyamukanga (44) and under-aged Munashe Christian (17) from Zvimba.