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Artisanal miners encouraged to be cautious during the rain season

Artisanal miners encouraged to be cautious during the rain season

Story by Fungai Jachi

The government has beefed up security measures at mines to ensure the safety of artisanal miners and avoid mining accidents that have increased during the rainy season.

This comes after 15 miners were trapped underground in Penhalonga after a mineshaft collapsed before they were rescued.

The government is stepping up efforts to ensure the safety of miners during the rainy season with the minister of Mines and Mining Development; Honourable Zhemu Soda saying they have deployed inspectors to ensure mining operations are carried out in a safe environment.

Honourable Zhemu disclosed this at a media briefing in Harare this Thursday.

“We discussed issues surrounding the safety of artisanal miners and it has to be noted that the government did not stop anyone from mining operations, but we want miners to be cautious. We must save lives instead of endangering them. There is going to be a heavy presence of our inspectors at mines to ensure that no one is risking their lives. Those who resist instructions from our inspectors will face the full wrath of the law,” he said.

Zimbabwe Miners Federation President Ms Henrietta Rushwaya added her voice on the need for artisanal miners to adhere to the laid down safety measures.

“As artisanal miners, it is important that we take heed of this call because we are important to the mining sector. For us to be able to meet our targets we have to be safe. We contribute 60 percent of gold to Fidelity, and we can only continue to do so if we are safe,” she said.

The government will also launch capacity-building programmes for artisanal miners in all the mining areas to ensure they carry out their mining operations in a safe environment.

This comes after several mining disasters including that of 15 artisanal miners who were trapped underground in Penhalonga before they were rescued four days later.

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