Source: 2 more die at ED ally’s mine –Newsday Zimbabwe
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s top ally Pedzisai Scott Sakupwanya’s Better Brands has reportedly continued conducting secret mining operations at Redwing Mine in Penhalonga, Manicaland, which led to two more deaths of artisanal miners 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.
“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,” Muzondo said.
“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.”
He added: “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.”
Centre for Research and Development director James Mupfumi said they were worried about recurrent deaths at Redwing Mine.
“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,” he said.
Centre for Natural Resource Governance director Farai Maguwu said: “There is unsafe mining that is happening at the mine and that should be stopped.”
Better Brands officials could not be reached for comment.
Sakupwanya is a key Zanu PF member and is expected to help finance the ruling party’s election campaign ahead of polls later this year.