Two more people are said to have died at Redwing Mine in Penhalonga, Manicaland, where Pedzai Scott Sakupwanya’s Better Brands has reportedly continued conducting secret mining operations.
According to NewsDay, two more artisanal miners died on Monday.
The mine was closed in January by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) over fatal accidents involving artisanal miners.
Manicaland police spokesperson Inspector Nobert Muzondo confirmed that two more deaths were reported on Monday. Muzondo is quoted as saying:
Police confirm the sudden death by trapping in Penhalonga on March 13, 2023, of Hardlife Dzamiti (21) of Chiware village under Chief Nyashanu, Buhera, who entered into a mine shaft 8 metres deep. While inside, a mudslide fell into the mineshaft, trapping him.
On the same day, Joshua Ncube from Harare died of suffocation. Police said the now-deceased Ncube was in the company of Terrence Magwara in a 13-metre deep mineshaft when he developed some difficulties in breathing and died.
Mine deaths occur almost occasionally, the frequency is high because we have illegal miners who are sneaking into disused shafts. As police it is our call to those who are sneaking into the mineshafts to desist because the soils are loose because of the incessant rains.
James Mupfumi, the director of the Centre for Research and Development said they were worried about recurrent deaths at Redwing Mine. He said:
Perpetrators of slave labour in mining pits at Redwing Mine are behind gold smuggling, tax evasion and environmental degradation and loss of lives in Penhalonga and we are worried.
Centre for Natural Resource Governance director Farai Maguwu urged authorities to stop “unsafe mining that is happening at the mine.”
Sakupwanya is a ZANU PF councillor for Mabvuku Ward 21 .