Tragedy Strikes: Sinkhole Swallows Students in Kwekwe School
In a shocking incident that has left the nation reeling, seven students were injured after a sinkhole opened up in the middle of a classroom at Globe and Phoenix Primary School in Kwekwe. The cause of the sinkhole is believed to be the result of illegal gold panning activities in the area, which have led to tunnels being dug under the school premises, compromising the structural integrity of the school blocks.
The sinkhole, which is said to have been connected to a network of illegal gold mining shafts that ran under the school grounds, highlights the dangers of illegal gold mining in the region. The illegal gold miners, known locally as makorokoza, have been operating in the area for some time, taking advantage of the rich deposits of gold ore in Kwekwe.
Although gold panning is a common practice in the region, it is also a dangerous and illegal activity that poses serious risks to both the environment and human lives. The tragic incident at Globe and Phoenix Primary School is a stark reminder of the dangers associated with such activities.
The school, which used to be owned by Globe and Phoenix Mine, has been under siege from illegal gold panners for the last few years. These miners have been digging pits inside classrooms, with some trenches running underneath classroom blocks. There are pits all over the schoolyard, with some having been dug in classrooms.
Speaking to the Chronicle last year, the school’s headmaster, Mr Isaac Bvupajena, decried the activities of the illegal gold miners, saying, “We are having a torrid time from the illegal miners. They destroyed the fence to gain entry. They are digging everything and everywhere leaving a lot of pits at the school. Our learners are in great danger from the pits as anything can happen to them at any time.”