Takunda Maodza Manicaland Bureau
THREE illegal diamond miners died at a Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) claim in Marange when a tunnel they were working on collapsed.
Police confirmed the incident which occurred last Wednesday at Chiadzwa.
Manicaland deputy police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Luxon Chanada yesterday said the deceased had been identified as Washington Simango, Gladmore Simango and Rodrick Chidziya, all from Chibuwe Village under Chief Mutambara.
The fourth victim, whose name is yet to be established, is admitted at Nyanyadzi Hospital.
“The illegal diamond panners went to the ZMDC claim on an illegal diamond mining mission. A tunnel they were working on collapsed on them.
“Four illegal panners were trapped. Three died on spot while the other victim was taken to Nyanyadzi Hospital where he is admitted,” said Asst-Insp Chanada.
He discouraged Zimbabweans from engaging in illegal mining of precious minerals.
“We discourage the public from engaging in illegal mining of precious minerals not just diamonds. It is illegal and they do not have the knowhow and relevant equipment risking their lives,” said Asst-Insp Chanada.
The four are suspected to have been part of a number of illegal diamond panners who risk life and limp in search of diamonds in Marange.
Illegal mining of precious stones is rampant in Manicaland.
A fortnight ago, illegal gold panners invaded the Government owned Agriculture and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) estate at Rusitu in their hundreds and destroyed hectares of land in search of the precious mineral.