Five people are trapped underground after a shaft collapsed at Task Mine in Chegutu, with the incident blamed on a weak surface due to unregulated shaft sinking with too many shafts close together.
Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando visited the site to assess the ongoing rescue operations.
He was accompanied by his deputy Polite Kambamura and Chegutu Central National Assembly member, Webster Shamu. Speaking at the site, Chitando said:
Shafts are almost 10 meters close to each other instead of the recommended 30 meters and the miners are using ropes where the shaft is even 100meters deep instead of limiting the use of ropes to just 30meters, so this increase later the risk of collapse.
The fate of the five miners remains unknown but Chitando pledged to provide the necessary support to ensure the success of the rescue operations.
Zimbabwe Mining Federation President Henrietta Rushwaya appealed for the government to avail mining equipment for small-scale and artisanal miners to reduce the prevalence of accidents.
This comes after more than 10 miners died at Battlefields Mine in Kadoma last year when a shaft was flooded with water during a storm.