Mineshaft collapse kills two in Penhalonga
MUTARE – Two artisanal miners died after being trapped in a disused mineshaft that collapsed in Penhalonga last week.
The victims, Sylvester Kativhu (43) and Obert Chihwa (37), were working in the eight-metre deep shaft with two other miners when the tunnel walls caved in.
One of the survivors, Fungai Sithole, who was outside the shaft, alerted the police and a rescue operation was launched.
The other survivor, Resmond Mutsikwi, was pulled out of the rubble, but Kativhu and Chihwa could not be located.
The rescue team, which included officials from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Betterbrands Mining Company and other artisanal miners, worked for six days to recover the bodies.
The bodies were taken to Victoria Chitepo Provincial Hospital for post-mortem.
Before the bodies were retrieved, traditional rituals were performed by Chief Mutasa, traditional healers and villagers at the scene to guide the rescue team.
The incident has raised concern over the safety of artisanal miners in Penhalonga, where many deaths have been recorded due to mineshaft collapses.
A joint statement by Zivai Community Empowerment Trust, Penhalonga Youth Development Trust and Penhalonga Residents and Ratepayers Trust called for more regulation and support for the small-scale mining sector.