The mine which Mpofu grabbed at the height of the land reform programme is disused and no longer safe to operate.
The two have been identified as Tichaona Dube while the other only identified as Siziba is a young brother to Mpofu’s wife.`
Rescuers told Radio VOP that the panners were pulled 35 metres underground already dead.
“One of the panners went down to blast the mine and while there he started suffocating and the other then went down to try and rescue his partner but the carbon monoxide was just too much and they could not make it to safety,” said an official from the Fire Brigade.
Two years ago four of the six gold panners who were trapped at Anterior Mine were rescued while two were declared dead after they were trapped underground for a week; the mine belonged to yet another Zanu PF official, Faison Siduli.
Zanu PF officials have ignored warnings from the ministry of mines to stop mining in disused mines; the safety of miners has also come under scrutiny amid reports that panners who died at Mpofu’s mine did not have protective clothing.
Buletsi Nyathi of Youths in Mining Council of Zimbabwe lamented the tragic loss of life.
“It’s sad that young people continue to perish in disused mines due to the negligence and reluctance by mine owners to put in place proper safety measures which could have saved lives,” said Nyathi.
Many youths have resorted to gold panning as Zimbabwe battles to create jobs.