Three Die In Zimbabwe Gold Mine

A day after Zimbabwe police announced a crackdown on "illegal small-scale gold miners in Mashonaland central Province" just like the diamond miners shown in Chiadzwa in the photo above, comes an announcement that three people have died "of suffocation" in the same province in an active mine shaft. The three, one woman and two men are said to have been attempting to steal gold ore.

Harare, Zimbabwe, 26 August 2009

Three people have died in Shamva (one of Zimbabwe's richest gold areas).

The three died at a claim called Marodzi Ten in the Concession/Shamva area.

The three have been named as Marvelous Kuyeri, aged 35, Tinashe Chari, aged 23 and Petros Kambira, aged 26.

According to Mazowe police (Mazowe is the nearest district), Marvelous Kuyeri entered the mine shaft just after midnight "intending to steal gold ore" and was overcome by fumes from a diesel generator that had been left running to drain water from gold mine. She called out for help and the other two went down the mine shaft to help her, but they were also overcome by carbon monoxide.

The owner of the mine, Stanley Chari, went to a nearby police post to report the deaths this morning and it was the police who pulled the three bodies out of the gold mine.

It is not clear yet what relation Stanley is to Tinashe, with whom he shares a surname.

Police have already said that thy do not suspect foul play and that the deaths will be recorded as "death by misadventure".

Only yesterday, I wrote here that the police had announced that they are launching a massive operation to get rid of "illegal gold miners" in this very same area. The police say these small-scale miners, most of them working with nothing more than pans, are causing "environmental degradation."

And then today comes this report.

Zimbabwe remains one of the most mineral-rich countries in Africa although both Mugabe and Tsvangirai are floundering as they seek ways to harness this wealth to rescue their moribund government, which claims it is broke even as spends millions of dollars on foreign travel.


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