BY STEPHEN CHADENGA
ARTISANAL miners’ unsafe mining practices have come under the spotlight amid reports that the Midlands province has recorded more than 90 mine-related deaths since January last year.
Midlands Provincial Affairs minister Larry Mavima said most of the accidents occurred at sites operated by artisanal and small-scale miners.
Mavima disclosed this while addressing a Zanu PF provincial co-ordinating committee (PCC) meeting where he also said plans were afoot to close unsafe mines.
“Last year, the province recorded 84 mine-related deaths and so far this year, we have recorded eight deaths,” he said.
“As a province, we are working with the Ministry of Mines to shut down unsafe mines. We cannot continue to be complacent and lose lives.”
Mavima’s utterances came at a time the Confederation of Zimbabwe Miners (CZM) has called on government to expedite the training of artisanal miners on safe mining practices.
CZM president Rangani Chauke told Southern Eye that as a mining body, they were worried about the recurrence of fatal accidents in mines.
“As we have always reiterated, there is need for urgent government intervention to train small-scale miners on safety issues,” he said.
“Government as the major stakeholder should chip in and spearhead training workshops on health and safety issues targeting small-scale miners.
“The sector is pivotal in the economic turnaround of the country, hence the need for prioritisation as it cannot continue to be incapacitated in terms of health and
Over the years, artisanal and small-scale miners have been accused of causing environmental degradation.