Remains of Mopani miners laid to rest


The remains of the four miners have been laid to rest with issues about safety taking centre stage.
Mines Minister Christopher Yaluma led hundreds of Kitwe residents in the send off that took place at Nkana Stadium in Kitwe.

Yaluma urged the miners to be more proactive in bringing to the fore safety risks or alerts.
Meanwhile, Mopani Copper Mines has offered to employ at least one family member from each of the bereaved families to help ease the financial loss caused by the deaths.

The burial procession was preceded by a church service at Nkana stadium in Kitwe.

And Government has called on mining companies to step up their safety measures to reduce mine accidents.

Mines Minister Christopher Yaluma said the Mopani Copper Mine accident is a strong reminder to government that there is still a lot of effort that needs to be put towards enhancing safety in the mining companies.

Speaking during the church service for the deceased miners, Mr Yaluma
directed all mining companies to step up their safety measures to reverse the current trend of mine accidents which he described as worrisome.

And Mr Yaluma cautioned miners against rushing to go and work without observing if the work sites are safe.

The Minister urged the miners to refuse working from unsafe environments assuring them that no one can fire them for doing so.

And Mr Yaluma disclosed that Mopani has agreed to employ one person from each of the grieved families in order to cushion the economic hardships that they believed families may be subjected to due to the death of the miners.

And Mine Workers Union of Zambia (MUZ) President Chishimba Nkole urged Mopani Copper Mine to review the cause of the accident that claimed the four miners.

Mr Nkole called for a thorough and transparent investigation into the cause of the accident so that the lives of other miners will not be put at risk since the South Ore Body (SOB) shaft where the accident happened from is still working.

He also challenged the Mine Safety department to establish if the accident was predictable and preventable.

And Mopani Copper Mine Chief Executive officer Johan Jansen said the mining house will ensure that safety is enhanced.

And speaking after burial, Information minister Chishimba Kambwili who represented all the bereaved families urged Mopani to fulfill its promise of compensating the families and establish the true cause of the accident.

The funeral precession was attended by senior government officials that included Labour Minister Fackson Shamenda, Foreign Affairs deputy Minister Rayford Mbulu, Copperbelt Minister Mwenya Musenge and other senior government and Patriotic Front officials among others.

The deceased are Arnold Mambwe, Honesty Mushota, Emmanuel Kyongola and Abel Munthali who were all machine operators.

They died two weeks ago after a rock fall in an underground pit when the area caved in at South Ore Body (SOB) shaft.