Illegal gold panner drowns in pool

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A 37-year-old man who was illegally panning for gold along Odzi River in Mutare drowned in a two-metre-deep pool on Saturday.

Edward Chinguruwe (37), of Chikwaka village under Chief Marange, had gone to pan for gold with his younger brother Shepherd and several other unidentified people in the Odzi River belt where deposits are believed to be high.

They reportedly went there around 7pm in the evening.

Edward is said to have volunteered to enter the pool and extract the ore while his colleagues waited outside. He, however, took too long to come out, prompting his brother to be suspicious and followed him to investigate.

Shepherd then discovered his brother had drowned and called others to try and resuscitate him, but to no avail.

Police have confirmed the incident and urged people to desist from engaging in illegal mining.

“All illegal mining happening in various communities in gold-rich areas should stop. People should realise that it is dangerous to mine without a licence and proper machinery.

“Record has it that people will lose life through illegal panning,” Manicaland police spokesperson Inspector Leonard Chabata said.