Anger scare as Zinwa cuts water supply to Vumbachikwe -The Southern Eye

The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) has cut off water supply to the Vumbachikwe mine in Matabeleland South province, leaving more than 1,000 pupils at Sabiwa Primary School and thousands of villagers without access to water.

A worker representative, Visitor Gumbo, told Southern Eye that the water supply was cut off last week, adding that fears abound of a possible outbreak of a waterborne disease.

“We fear an outbreak of cholera and the subsequent closure of the primary school where more than 1,000 students are enrolled,” Gumbo said.

No comment could be obtained from Vumbachikwe Mine spokesperson Robert Mukondiwa after Southern Eye texted him after being unable to contact him on his mobile phone.

Tsungirirai Shoriwa, head of corporate communications at Zinwa, said they would investigate the matter.

“Please send me a query so I can send it to the managers for a response,” Shoriwa said.

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Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education spokesperson Taungana Ndoro also said he would investigate the matter.

Gold production at the Vumbachikwe mine stopped in 2022 after workers stopped working over unpaid wages.

“The financial situation is so bad that (the mine) has not paid its staff their regular monthly salaries since then, causing much hardship to the rest of the workforce and their families.”

According to a recent report by South African forensic firm Forfar Forensics, the situation at the mine paints a bleak picture for workers hoping to get back to the good times.

The report indicates that Duration Gold Zimbabwe, owners of the Vubachikwe gold mine through its subsidiary Forbes and Thompson (Pvt) Ltd, had mounting debts of more than US$8,592,720 and ZWL3,556,917,841 as of November 2023.

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