Nelias Shiri, Chronicle Reporter
A 22-year-old man from White Farm in Gwanda, Matabeleland South died on the spot when a mine shaft, he was working in collapsed.
Police said the deceased Mthandazo Sibanda and his two colleagues Edson Mpofu (23) and Mpumelelo Ngwabi (38) both of White Farm in Gwanda were prospecting for gold at Valentine Mine last Sunday at around 8PM.
After working for some hours inside the shaft the trio started removing the gold ore from underground using a bucket system.
Police said the deceased was left underground filling the bucket with gold ore whilst his friends outside the shaft pulled out a rope attached to the bucket.
During the process, the shaft suddenly collapsed trapping the deceased inside and died.
The two colleagues managed to retrieve the body and a report was made to the police.
The body was taken to Gwanda Provincial Hospital for postmortem.
Matabeleland South Police spokesperson Inspector Loveness Mangena confirmed the incident urging members of the public to desist from extracting gold without properly complying to the rules and regulations stated in Mines and Mineral Act.
“I can confirm the gory incident happened on February 28 at around 8PM at Valentine Mine in Gwanda when a five-meter shaft mine where the now deceased, Mthandazo Sibanda, was working collapsed, trapping him and died,” said Ins Mangena.
“We are urging members of the public to stop risking their lives by operating in dangerous shafts and desist from practicing unsafe mining techniques especially in this rainy season as this contributes to the loss of human life,” added Insp Mangena.
Late last month, a female gold panner from Gobathema village in Gwanda died on the spot when the shaft she was prospecting for alluvial gold at the bank of Mlalakgomo River collapsed.
In a similar incident, five artisanal miners died after a shaft from where they were extracting gold collapsed at Elvingston Mine near Chegutu, Mashonaland West Province.