The Sunday News

Sinokuthaba Dube, Sunday News Reporter

FOUR miners are feared dead at Esikhoveni Mine in Umzingwane District – Matabeleland South Province after a make shift shelter they were living in collapsed and trapped them underground.

The miners were not yet retrieved by mid-day yesterday with the police and other stakeholders in the mining industry still at the scene.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident.

“It is true, we received that information where four miners were trapped underground after the shelter they were living in gave in. They have not been retrieved yet and police and other stakeholders are on the ground working to ensure they are retrieved,” he said.

The names of the four are yet to be released.

National Assembly Member for Umzingwane Retired Brigadier- Levi Mayihlome confirmed the incident saying the four were feared dead.

He said experts from How Mine and Vumbachikwe were on the ground trying to help retrieve the four.

“I am in Harare but I heard of the sad developments in our community. Esikhoveni Mine is one of the most productive mines in the area and I want to convey my sympathies to the families and the owner of the mine. It’s sad that the four miners are still trapped underground. We hope and pray that the rescue efforts that are underway be successful so that they can be accorded a decent burial,” he said.

Rtd Brig-Gen Mayihlome urged miners both formal and informal to take safety precautions especially during this rainy season saying the ground would be soaked and mining accidents tend to increase.

He expressed gratitude to the big mines – Vumbachikwe and How Mines for their continued support.

Zimbabwe Miners Federation Spokesperson Mr Dosman Mangisi said according to the information brought in by inspectors the miners were staying at a shelter erected on an old excavation mine rubble that is suspected to have been weakened by the rains and curved in trapping the miners underground