Chegutu – A memorial service for people who perished in the Bayhorse Mine disaster was held in Chegutu amid calls for strengthened mining safety.
A family representative of the late Godfrey Baro, one of the victims who perished in the mine accident, Tendai Baro, thanked the government for the assistance in footing funeral expenses for bereaved families.
“I would like to thank the government for its assistance in helping us mourn our beloved as this tragic incident came as a shock to us. We didn’t know where to start from and we really appreciate the support from President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government for the assistance,” she said.
The mine owner, Tafadzwa Sigauke, also thanked the support from the government following the incident.
“I don’t know what I could have done without the intervention by the government which swiftly responded to the accident and supported us in rescue efforts as well as assisting bereaved families,” he said.
Mashonaland West Provincial Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Hon Marian Chombo, urged small-scale miners to prioritize safety issues and safeguard people’s lives.
“We understand that we will be working hard to fend for our families and we recognize the importance of the mining sector towards economic development but we also need to be vigilant on safety issues so that we do not continue to lose precious lives,” she said.
Hon Chombo said the Civil Protection Act was crafted for such times like this. President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared the accident a state of disaster with bereaved families receiving state-assisted funeral support from the government.
Honorable Chombo also visited some of the survivors who were admitted at Chegutu General Hospital where one of the survivors, Misheck Best, narrated the ordeal.
Mashonaland West Provincial Permanent Secretary, Josphat Jaji, urged communities to inform authorities as soon as possible once a tragic incident occurs.
“We thank those who have joined in helping after the unfortunate incident and we urge communities to quickly inform authorities so that whenever a tragedy like this occurs, help is sought and offered as quickly as possible,” he said.
The deceased who have been retrieved so far have been identified as Godfrey Baro (26), Tawanda Gavaza (28), Forbes Murombedzi (23), Agrippa Chiponda (18) whilst efforts to retrieve more trapped bodies are still ongoing.
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga appraised ZANU PF Central Committee members about the mine accident on Saturday.