A Zvishavane teacher accidentally fell headlong into a mine tunnel and died on Thursday morning while engaged in gold panning.
Pesanai Chiresve, a teacher at the nearby Gorge Chipadze Secondary School, had abandoned classes with his colleagues Tafadzwa Makasi, Aneas Makaya and Celopas Gumbo when tragedy struck.
National police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, said the incident occurred near Dadaya High School on the outskirts of Zvishavane. Said Nyathi:
Police are investigating a case in which one Mr Pesanai Chiresve who was a teacher at George Chipadze Secondary School in Zvishavane died after he lost control of a hoist he was using to lower a colleague at a mine where they were illegally panning for gold. He lost footing and fell headlong into the mine tunnel.
Chiresve’s body was retrieved and taken to Zvishavane District Hospital mortuary. He will be buried at his rural home in Chivi this Saturday.
Makasi, who was being lowered underground using a tin tied to a rope, is said to be recuperating at Zvishavane District Hospital after sustaining fractures.
Zimbabwean teachers are the least-paid government employees, earning about US$35 per month.
As a result, teachers have abandoned schools and are now engaged activities such as gold panning, hawking and market gardening.