One tonne boulder crushes miner

The tragic incident that claimed the life of the mine’s machine supervisor Isaiah Kamanga, 36, occurred on Thursday last week at around 11.30AM.

Matabeleland South acting provincial police spokesperson Sergeant Thabani Mkwananzi confirmed the incident.

“I can confirm that police are handling a Jessie Mine accident and investigations on the matter are in progress,” he said.

Kamanga was also Jessie Mine Football Club (FC) head coach.

His uncle, Christopher Sichinga, who is also the Jessie Mine FC secretary, said his nephew died after a huge rock which weighed more than a tonne fell on him. It covered him from the chest down to knee level.

“Kamanga was called by a miner to attend to a bad hanging rock which was at Two Level Mine which is the mine’s main shaft. He was the section gang leader. They worked on modalities to see how the loose rock could be removed to avoid any possible incident. They then came to an agreement that the loose rock would be removed the following day (Friday),” said Sichinga. “We heard that when the miner had moved about five metres from where Kamanga was, that’s when an unusual sound was heard and when they checked what was happening, they found that my nephew had been trapped under that huge rock that had fallen on him.”

He said his legs were completely crushed by the rock.

“His bones were crushed to pieces and the left leg was the worst affected. In our observation, the body was not badly hurt. The problem is that he had already lost a lot of blood before he got some emergency assistance,” said Sichinga who is also an employee at the same mine.

He said Kamanga was taken to Gwanda Provincial Hospital and was certified dead a few minutes after arrival.

Sichinga said the doctor informed them that Kamanga could have survived, but without legs, if he had received help earlier.

“We wish mines could prioritise first aid training for all its employees such that when accidents like this arise, we all have the know-how of dealing with it. In this case, people lacked knowledge of the first aid principles. He could have been saved,” he said.

Some workers at the mine alleged that Kamanga died due to negligence after a boss on duty (name supplied) certified the place safe to work in. “He was the senior overseer and concluded that the area was safe to work in, but surprisingly the accident happened a few minutes later. To say they discussed removing the loose rock is just to cover up for the miner because there is nothing like that,” said a Jessie Mine worker.

Jessie Mine manager identified as Shacke Zuda declined to comment.

Kamanga, who is survived by his wife and two children, is expected to be buried today at Mount Cazalet Cemetery in Gwanda Town.

Last year, a Vumbachikwe Mine worker was crushed to death after a boulder weighing more than 1,000 kilogrammes fell on him.


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