Artisanal Miners Shut Out of Flood Warning on Twitter? Official’s Tweet Misses the Mark
18 January 2024
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A well-intentioned message from Zimbabwe’s Permanent Secretary for Information, Nick Mangwana, aimed at warning artisanal miners about impending heavy rains, backfired on social media yesterday.

The tweet, urging miners to avoid going underground due to the high risk of flooding, was met with the stark reminder that many artisanal miners lack access to Twitter.

“The amount of rainfall expected in the next 4 days is so much that it’s advisable for Artisanal miners to evaluate the risk of going underground when chances of flooding is so high. It’s not worth it, just wait for this to pass and you can resume your work, safely,” Mangwana tweeted.

The seemingly straightforward safety advice quickly drew criticism, highlighting the disconnect between official communication channels and the reality faced by vulnerable communities.

One Twitter user reminded Mangwana that artisanal miners were not found on Twitter.

“Makorokoza haawanikwe pa Twitter, madii kungoendako,” said one Denford Madura.