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Small Scale MinersNews

MPs demand action over Kwekwe mining sinkholes menace

Members of Parliament across the political divide on Thursday demanded action to stop illegal gold mining in disused mine shafts in Kwekwe which threatens buildings in the Midlands city.

In March, a Globe and Phoenix Primary School classroom caved in, resulting in 18 pupils being injured.

In May, House Number 1 Silver Oaks, also in Globe and Phoenix low-density suburb collapsed into an underground mine shaft.

Legislators who are members of the portfolio committee on mines and mining development accused the Government of doing nothing to stop the illegal mining activities.

Kwekwe Central MP Judith Tobaiwa (CCC), said:

My worry is we have been hearing all these contributions from government departments; what have they done to resolve these issues?

Now there are mining activities along the Harare Road and also along Robert Mugabe Road.

Mberengwa East MP Marko Raidza (ZANU PF) said:

We are not hearing solutions and interventions that they are doing to arrest the situation.

We need firm commitment and activities to stop this illegal mining before a big disaster happens.

Mutasa Central legislator Trevor Saruwaka (CCC), said:

It looks like there is an umbilical cord to this madness. The challenge could be because political heavyweights are involved in illegal mining activities such that these government departments are failing to rein them in.

Appearing before the committee, Midlands mining engineer Tapererwa Paskwavaviri acknowledged that there is a high number of sinkholes in Kwekwe. He said:

There is a prevalence of sinkholes in Kwekwe which resulted in the damage of roads and buildings.

At the moment, if you go to the district coordinator’s offices, a number of buildings have large cracks in the walls.

The Kwekwe reservoir which is next to Globe and Phoenix is in danger as we speak and our fear is that if illegal mining continues around that area, the water tank can collapse and that will result in a disaster.

There is a danger that the tunnels could be extending towards the CBD (Central Business District).

Mines and Mining Development Ministry permanent secretary Pfungwa Kunaka said the government is seized with the matter.

We know that because of mining activity, the ground beneath Kwekwe is now weak.

The March 2023 collapse drew our attention as the entire government. The Kwekwe issue is being treated as an emergency situation.

This matter is now at the Cabinet level being addressed. On the outlook, it may appear like there is no progress.

It also emerged that most mining towns across the country are at risk of caving in as a result of the effects of illegal mining being done in decommissioned and disused mines. – (Pindula)

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