A Zvishavane teacher has died in the least expected form for a qualified professional after he accidentally fell headlong in a mine tunnel, as he tried to use a manual hoist to lower a colleague underground, where they were panning for gold.
Pesanai Chiresve had abandoned classes at the nearby Gorge Chipadze Secondary School in search of the precious mineral together with colleagues Tafadzwa Makasi, Aneas Makaya and Celopas Gumbo, when he met his fate.
Thousands of teachers have recently left classrooms unattended as they go out into various informal economy activities to fend for money to feed their families as their salaries get eroded by the economy everyday.
Most have been found in illegal gold mining fields with some vending in the streets of most cities.
Makasi, who was being lowered underground using a tin tied to a rope, is said to be recuperating at Zvishavane District Hospital after sustaining fractures.
National police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, said the incident occurred on Thursday morning near Dadaya High School on the outskirts of Zvishavane.
“Police are investigating a case in which one Mr Pesanai Chiresve who was a teacher at George Chipadze Secondary School in Zvishavane died after he lost control of a hoist he was using to lower a colleague at a mine where they were illegally panning for gold,” he said. “He lost footing and fell headlong into the mine tunnel.”
Asst-Comm Nyathi said police attended the scene and Chiresve’s body was retrieved and taken to Zvishavane District Hospital mortuary.
According to witnesses, Chiresve, together with his colleagues, left school on Wednesday morning to embark on illegal mining.
The teachers had approached the owner of a mining claim seeking permission to pan for gold.
They then teamed up and went into the mine using a tunnel.
Chiresve will be buried at his rural home in Chivi today.
Source: State Media