RESCUE missions in Penhalonga, Manicaland province, are battling to find bodies of two illegal miners who are feared dead after a mine shaft caved in on them on Wednesday.
Centre for Research and Development director James Mupfumi confirmed the search saying there was open cast alluvial gold mining taking place along Mutare River in Penhalonga.
“An emissary from Chief Mutasa performed a ritual at the scene last night to seek guidance,” Mupfumi said.
“We discovered that there is an open cast alluvial gold mining taking place in Mutare River, where Russians were stopped by the government in 2013. There are some well-known politically connected individuals who own the mine.”
Penhalonga Youth Development Trust director Clinton Masanga said the mining disaster at Mutare River has brought immense grief to the local community.
“It is imperative that a thorough investigation is conducted to determine the causes of collapse, identify any negligence or misconduct and hold those accountable to book,” Masanga said.
“The political and environmental factors surrounding the tragedy demand urgent attention and action. By addressing the shortcomings in regulation, accountability and community engagement, we can strive for a safer and more sustainable future for mining operations.”
Manicaland provincial mining director Elton Shingirai Makumbe told NewsDay Weekender that: “Yes, there is an incident we are investigating, and we are on our way to the mine.”
The mine is believed to be owned by Simba Dumbura.