Zimbabwe: Kamandama Golf Tourney Called Off

The Kamandama golf tournament, which is held annually in Hwange as part of the commemorations of the 427 miners who died after a series of underground gas explosions in 1972, has this year been called off.

The Hwange coal mine disaster took place on June 6, 1972.

It remains the deadliest mine accident to date.

It was initially believed that 468 miners were trapped at Kamandama Mineshaft but the number was lowered to 427 after the owners found a number of people had not shown up for work.

And, as a way of remembering those who died in that mining disaster, the Hwange Colliery Company Limited hold an annual two-day Kamandama golf tournament on June 5 and 6 as part of the commemorations.

But the coal-mining company indicated in a statement yesterday this year's event, scheduled to be staged today and tomorrow, has been shelved due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

"As the public is well aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged not only Zimbabwe, but the world at large, thereby disrupting the normal functioning of the community at large.

"This deadly virus has necessitated the need for social distancing; this requires us as organisations to adhere to Government regulations limiting gatherings in an effort to stop the spread of the disease.

"In light of this, (the) Hwange Colliery Company Limited will not be conducting the Kamandama Golf tournament together with the memorial which is normally held annually on the 5th and 6th of June respectively," HCCL said in the statement yesterday.

The company, however, said they will continue with their philanthropic efforts to ensure the surviving spouses (widows) of the miners, who were killed in the 1972 disaster, are well taken care of "especially in these trying times".

"As HCCL we are aware that most organisations who normally partner with us in this event are currently engaged in other CSR initiatives aimed towards Covid-19."

The cancellation of this year's tournament might have come as a big disappointment to a number of local professional and amateur golfers.

They were hoping to dust off the cobwebs which had been gathering on their golf-clubs since all sporting activities were frozen in Zimbabwe in March following the outbreak of the deadly cononavirus.

Golf was among a number of sporting disciplines, considered low risk by the Government, that were earlier this week told that they can commence their activities provided they get clearance from the Sports Commission.

The sports codes were told by the Sports Commission they will have to strictly comply with the Government directives meant to stop the spread of the coronavirus in this country.

The country's sports regulator said they will be strict in their enforcement and inspectors will be dispatched to various sites to ensure compliance with the conditions and the law and those caught offside will face sanctions.

The inspections will be carried out without any notice.

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