Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
ONE worker died and four were injured in a rock fall accident at How Mine on the outskirts of Bulawayo on Thursday afternoon during a shaft examination.
Management at the mine has since shut off the shaft to allow investigations into the accident.
Mr Matola Kazembe (49) who was the shaft timberman died on the spot while his four colleagues sustained injuries following the tragic incident.
Two of the workers are admitted to Mater Dei Hospital while the other two were treated and discharged.
In a memorandum to the workers on Thursday, the mine’s managing director, Mr Demand Gwatinetsa informed them of Mr Kazembe’s death reportedly due to a rockfall in the shaft.
“It’s with a heavy heart that I inform you of the passing on of Mr Matola Kazembe, our shaft timberman. Mr Kazembe, together with his shaft crew were involved in an accident during shaft examination on our north shaft.
“He was in the company of Mr Michael Chaipa, Mr Julius Phiri, Mr Captain Singini and Mr Last Kakono. Mr Chaipa and Mr Phiri have been admitted to Mater Dei Hospital due to injuries sustained in the accident while Mr Singini and Mr Kakono were attended to and discharged for monitoring from home,” said Mr Gwatinetsa.
He said there was a reported rockfall onto the skip on which they were working, adding that investigations were underway.
“The full details of the accident are still under investigation by ourselves as well as with the Government Inspector of Mines and we’ll communicate with you the findings.
“We have stopped operations on the north shaft until further notice and we’ll co-operate fully with the authorities in the ongoing investigations,” said Mr Gwatinetsa.
He assured the workers that the mine will put in place measures to ensure similar accidents never happen in future.
Bulawayo acting police spokesperson Assistant, Inspector Nomalanga Msebele, confirmed Mr Kazembe’s death.
She said no foul play was suspected.
“We received a sudden death that occurred at How Mine on Thursday at about 2.30PM. The victim, Mr Matola Kazembe aged 49 died following a mine accident.
“He entered a shaft with four other employees using a cage and when they reached level 29 rocks started falling hitting them,” said Asst Insp Msebele.
She said Mr Kazembe who died on the spot after sustaining head injuries, fell out of the cage and landed on the ground.
“Police retrieved the body which has since been taken to United Bulawayo Hospitals for post mortem.
His four colleagues were rescued by security officials after they screamed for help and were rushed to Mater Dei Hospital for treatment and are in a stable condition,” said Asst Insp Msebele. — @pamelashumba1.