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Economic Hardships Force Zimbabweans into Risky Behaviour

High unemployment and poverty are pushing Zimbabwean workers into mining for gold in abandoned and dangerous mine shafts that too often turn into death traps. At least 10 people trapped in a mine shaft that collapsed two weeks ago are feared dead. Authorities called off rescue efforts on December 5th. Only six miners were saved. At least 10 others are still buried. The Zimbabwe Miners Federation, which represents miners like Tagwireyi, says as many as 30 miners were lost. Gold is Zimbabwe’s largest foreign exchange earner and more stable than the country’s volatile currency. The struggling economy and unemployment have pushed laborers underground, despite the risk of accidents and violence. Zimbabwe’s parliament has summoned Winston Chitando, the minister of mines and mining development, to answer questions on why so many mining disasters have happened. He is scheduled to appear Wednesday.