Families of four trapped bodies at Task Mine in Chegutu have lost faith in the government recovering their loved one’s remains, and have accepted that their loved ones’ corpses may never be unearthed.
Mr Gwatidzo, one of the parents who lost a 17-year-old school-going son, said the situation is difficult because the shaft has been filled with water from the broken water pumps, it is impossible to exhume the bodies.
The government had since last year offered assistance with the exhumation of the bodies underground, but there has not been any help offered to family members since the onset of the disaster.
“The government was supposed to fully intervene in the case so that there was full support, but no support has been offered to the families whose remaining bodies are still trapped underground.
“The water pumps are not working, now with the water which is down there, l don’t even know if it’s still possible to retrieve the bodies,” Gwatidzo said.
Commenting on the issue, Mines Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Chairperson Honourable Edmond Mkaratigwa said the committee’s position pertaining to the matter has not changed and it is unacceptable to defy cultural values, people need to be buried decently, but due to Covid-19 restrictions, he says it has been difficult to speed up the process of exhuming the bodies.
“Covid-19 has had an effect on the speed of processes but we need to quickly adapt, since the committee’s position has not changed, people need to be decently buried,” said Mkaratigwa.
Gwatidzo expressed his sorrow towards the situation on the ground at Task Mine because the families there have been struggling to make ends meet while waiting on the government to come and help with the exhumation of the bodies.
“It’s so sad, we are still checking with each other, and supporting each other with food and paying fees for a few children of which the government is supposed to lend a hand so it does not get difficult to get by,” said Gwatidzo.
He further stated that the government must at least retrieve the bones of the remaining dead bodies underground so that families can get closure.
On the 8th of September 2020, five miners got trapped underground after the shaft they were working on collapsed and only one body was retrieved. Since then, no help has been offered to the families who lost their loved ones in the mine collapse with the government remaining mum on the tragic accident. Mine owners have since resumed work at the site and no effort is being put to retrieve the dead bodies from the shaft.