Illegal gold mining forces school to close classrooms

GLOBE and Phoenix Primary School in Kwekwe city has decommissioned two classroom blocks over fears they will collapse anytime because of illegal gold mining activities that have been occurring beneath the school.

There are also fears that the Kwekwe District Government offices which house the District Registrar and the District Development Coordinator (DDC) could also carve in because of the continued illegal mining activities underground.

School head, Mr Isaac Pfupajena said illegal mining activities around the school had left a trail of destruction with some of the classroom blocks now in danger of collapsing.

He said the illegal miners had been invading the school at night and digging up huge pits under classroom foundations in search of gold.

“We have engaged security guards but at times they (illegal miners) come at night and threaten the guards before they dig huge pits underneath the classroom blocks in search of gold.”

Mr Pfupajena said the school had installed some security lights to try and deter the illegal miners.

“We have also requested the police to establish a police post but they haven’t come yet. We have however installed lights and some of the panners are no longer coming during the night,” he said.

Mr Pfupajena said there were high chances some of the classroom blocks with open pits around them would collapse this rainy season.

“Its now raining and these pits which are underneath the classroom blocks will be filled with water causing the classroom blocks to collapse,” he said.

Kwekwe District Development Coordinator, Mr Fortune Mpungu also confirmed the illegal mining activities around Globe and Phoenix Primary School and the District Registrar’s office.

He said they had engaged the police to help. Local police could not comment on the developments.

Mr Mpungu said his office was also waiting for a geographical assessment report from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development .

“There was an assessment which was done by the Ministry of Mines to ascertain whether or not the school and the District Registrar’s offices were still safe to use following the underground damage owing to the illegal activities.

“We are still curiously waiting for this report,” he said.

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