- December 7, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
Mines Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Chairperson Hon Edmond Mkaratigwa has said failure by the Mines and Mining Development Ministry to take action to reduce the high number of gold mine accidents across the country has caused a spike in Mine accidents.
The Mines and Mining Development Ministry is headed by Minister Winston Chitando.
This year, a number of artisanal miners have died across the country after mine shafts they were working on collapsed on them. Some of the miners in Chegutu, Mutasa South, Bindura, Esigodini and Mudzi remain trapped as rescuers fail to retrieve their bodies.
Rescue operations have been hindered by the current rains the country is receiving.
However, Mkaratigwa feels the government through the Mines Ministry is not doing enough to stop fatal mining disasters.
“There is a problem in our (mines) Ministry. A legislative gap with a new dimension beyond is what we had initially focused on including finalizing the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill,” he said.
The Zanu PF Shurugwi South MP also blamed other government departments for not briefing parliament on what was happening at the mines when called upon to do so.
“Sadly no action has been fully explored. We are now engaging the Ministry and other stakeholders to come up with a position for policy action, advocacy and other alternative programmes and projects towards ensuring the reduction of accidents in the (Mining) sector. We will need more advocacy because policy space is narrow and a congested territory.”
“Last week, we traversed the country to investigate the issue of mining disasters. Before that, the committee had put pressure on the mines ministry and the Civil Protection Unit (CPU) to take responsible action,” Mkaratigwa said.
“We have been following up on the events and pushing for a remedy where we think things can be done effectively.
“Having realised a surge in mining accidents, we have embarked on a fact-finding mission in Manicaland, Matabeleland, Mashonaland West and later Bindura in Mashonaland Central to find the real challenges impacting effective exhumations, the actual causes of the accidents, challenges as well as delays in emergency responses,” he added.
Source: New Zimbabwe