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Gold panners put Kwekwe residents at risk

by Lovemore Zigara
30 Apr 2016 at 20:30hrs | Views

DISUSED and unsecured mine shafts in Kwekwe are posing a danger to people in the Globe and Phoenix area of the city.

Speaking after a tour of disused and unsecured mines in Kwekwe recently, the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) provincial manager for Harare, Benson Basera, said the agency would shut downs all mines which do not ensure the safety of people at disused mine shafts.

"We've noticed that most mines here don't have perimeter fences which is a violation of the EMA Act and some disused mine shafts haven't been protected and these pose a danger to people and animals since they can easily fall into these shafts," he said.

"As EMA if mines don't ensure the safety of their workforce as well as that of the community, then we'll not hesitate to shut them down."

Mapurazi Mining Syndicate administration manager James Chimuka said illegal gold miners vandalise infrastructure that would have been put as a protective measure at disused mine shafts.

He said they were in continuous talks with government departments and the police to curb gold panning which he said was the major source of environmental problems in Kwekwe.

Chimuka said it was difficult for them to control the activities of illegal gold miners as some of them would be armed.

"The challenges that we have is that we have panners who are coming and vandalising structures. So the cordoning off of the mine site and mine shaft has been an ongoing process and sometimes it has been dangerous because some of the gold panners would be armed," he said.

Source - chronicle