New Zimbabwe.com

Illegal gold miner crushed to death by boulder; Zanu PF massed youths onto the site By Staff Reporter 

By Staff Reporter


KWEKWE: Tragedy struck in the early hours of last Friday after a section of Gaika Mine collapsed killing one person and leaving three others injured.

The now deceased Stenford Machangai was in the company of three others when he was crushed on the head by a boulder and died on the spot.

The injured who were identified as Privilege Sayi, Skulekile Mlalazi and Kirian Chimutengo had to be rushed to Kwekwe District Hospital for treatment.

Prior to the tragedy, miners had reportedly blasted their working area with explosives thereby weakening the walls of the mine.

The tragedy comes a few months after the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) in June dislodged hordes of the illegal miners who had invaded the foreign-owned gold mine.

The clandestine mining activities however, continued immediately after the army left the place.

Sources told this publication that tragedy struck Friday after the walls of section of the mine gave way to pressure after the blast.

“The accident happened between 4 and 5 am on Friday. The miners had set-in explosives on the area they were going to work on.

“We suspect that walls gave way to pressure after the blast,” said one witness.

Another source said the now-deceased might unknowingly have been close to the loose rock which then struck him on the head.

Officer Commanding Kwekwe District Police Station Kinston Mushawembirimi confirmed the incident.

“We received a report about the death of a miner at Gaika in the early hours of Friday. We are however conducting investigations on the matter,” he said.

Residents who live close to the mine have since raised complaints about the noise caused by intermittent blasting and explosion from the mining site.

The mine has become a haven of violence with rival gangs have been maiming and butchering each other with the wars spilling in the residential areas.

Ruling Zanu PF bigwigs were fingered as the ring leaders of the mine seizure and then allowing some party youths to mass onto the property.

Gaika is owned by Jersey-based and privately owned Duration Gold which acquired several mines in the country back in 2006 and kept them under care and maintenance due to the volatile political and economic situation in the country at the time.

The High Court has since ordered the Ministry of Mines to stop granting mining rights to former Mbizo Member of Parliament Vongai Mupereri after she reportedly attempted the mine takeover.
Justice Nicholas Mathonsi has also ordered police to conduct investigations at Gaika Mine, which was the centre of dispute.

This came after Carel Hendrick Meyer, the mine manager, approached the courts seeking an interdict on the illegal activities which, he argued, violated property rights.

Meanwhile, mines ministry permanent secretary Munesuishe Munodawafa has said government wants to see sanity prevailing at Gaika Mine.