Several illegal gold miners are feared dead at Motapa Old Mine in Matabeleland when a shaft collapsed on Thursday.
Sources close to investigations allege four people have been retrieved so far with three visible bodies still trapped though more people are still suspected to be trapped.
“We are busy retrieving the bodies so far we have retrieved three and have been assisted in identifying them by their friends and relatives.
“The three are Agreement Moyo (41) of Alpha Village stand 10 village 3Lonely mine Inyathi, Mthokozisi Jele (41) of Maphatha village, Fedu area Nkayi , Godknows Dube (20) of Makuwa village Chief Malisa Silobela and Sam Mpofu (25) from Kwekwe,” revealed the source.
Apparently Bubi District Civil Protection Committee comprising of Bubi Rural District Council represented by Mr Partson Mlilo, ZRP Inyathi team and three MBCU members, Ministry of mines and Mr Gabriel Msipha from Environment Managements Agents reacted to the report and are currently assisting in retrieving the bodies.
The ward Councillor Mr Herbert Ngwendu confirmed the incident saying unemployed people from all walks of life perished in search of the precious stone.
“Indeed many people from both Matabeleland and Mashonaland died after the shaft collapsed, we are not yet sure of the actual figure but so far four have been retrieved,” said Ngwendu.
He urged illegal miners to get licenced and work freely knowing the right procedures to follow when mining.
“These illegal miners die because of lack of knowledge instead they should get licensed and observe the right mining procedures.”
However, on the same mine three “corrupt” Criminal Investigating Department members are suspected to have shot an illegal miner in search of gold ore on Tuesday.