Committee chairperson Edmund Mkaratigwa (Shurugwi South) told Parliament on Wednesday that the fund must be set up by December this year to enable acquisition of machinery to rescue trapped miners, and retrieve dead bodies in mineshafts.
He was presenting the committee’s findings following a recent fact-finding mission to several mine sites to check on their safety.
“The mine safety fund can be funded from mining operations for the purchase of, or hiring of equipment to be used in mine rescue operations or retrieval of dead bodies by December 2021,” Mkaratigwa said.
“Going forward, the Mines ministry should play its role in all mining accidents in line with Statutory Instrument 109 of 1990 Mining (Management and Safety).”
He said the fund could be administered under the Department of Civil Protection or Local Government ministry.
“By January 2022, each mining district in Zimbabwe should have a rapid response unit which is adequately resourced to deal with mining accidents. There are dead bodies that have been buried in several mines in different parts of the country, and families and friends of these departed persons need closure.
“By April 2022, the Mines ministry must have finalised formalising artisanal small-scale miners so that they get training on safe mining regulations,” Mkaratigwa added.