- November 10, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
Rescuers at Task Mine have been ordered to stop exhumation efforts to allow the Mines Ministry experts to investigate the challenges associated with the collapsed mine as well as coming up with solutions to make the mine safe for working once more.
By Shantel Chisango
Speaking to Mining Zimbabwe, Chairman of the Mines Portfolio Committee, Honorable Edmond Mkaratigwa said the rescuers at Task Mine in Chegutu were instructed by the DA with instruction from Mines Ministry to cease the exhumation process so the ministry can take safety precautions with regards to the place.
“Task Mine was sealed so as to give time to the Ministry to investigate the problem and have mechanisms put in place so that detected hazards be addressed hence making the environment safe for working again,” said Hon Mkaratigwa.
He further added that it would be absurd to let miners continue operating considering the fact that the mine just collapsed a few months ago.
“It is inhumane to allow people to work in a situation in which some are trapped and still being rescued. Psychologically it must be traumatising,” said Mkaratigwa.
The halting of Task Mine operations has caused untold suffering among the parents of the people who died in the collapse.
Speaking to one of the parents whose child was the only one the rescuers managed to retrieve from the collapse, Mr Gwatidzo lamented that they are shocked by the halting of the rescue mission because they were expecting the rest of the bodies to be exhumed as soon as possible since one was recently found.
“I want the public to know that as parents we are not happy with what the Ministry has done since we were close to exhuming all the bodies before the Ministry ordered the halt.”
He further added that the Mines Ministry and Task Mine were reluctant in offering help and from day one the parents have been funding the operations to make progress.
“We have been asking for help but surprisingly all government sectors have never supported us.
“Since day one there was no seriousness in taking this as an emergency from CTTU, Task, Mines and the Government itself. This is my biggest concern because this work was not supposed to take such long but there was no support at all. Stakeholders and well-wishers “vakatiregerera veduwe” (Neglected us) until now we are crying for support. Does it mean if someone doesn’t have an office (he) is not a human being that is not worth listening to”.
On the 8th of September 2020, five miners got trapped underground after the shaft they were working on collapsed. One of the miners’ body was exhumed last week and subsequently buried a day after.
Mines Minister Winston Chitando is reported to have only visited the accident scene once.
ZMF’s plans to assist hit a snag after the arrest of its leader on allegations of attempted smuggling. Sources say that Rushwaya donated a substantial amount of money when she visited the site less than a month ago and had plans drum up support to fast track the rescue efforts. The ZMF interim leader has since remained mum on the issue.