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Monday 02/07/2018

Black Mountain disaster

Dear editor,

We read from the Good Book that where there is no vision, the people perish.
Prior to the Black Mountain Disaster in Kitwe that left 10 small scale miners dead on June 20, 2018, Minister of Mines and Mineral Development, Richard Musukwa, was on recording saying, operations at the Black Mountain were safe.
The government owned and PF controlled Zambia Daily Mail even carried a story with the heading, “Black Mountain not disaster in waiting, says Musukwa.”
It pains me to see how President Edgar Lungu and his government have downplayed this tragedy and blatantly refused to take responsibility for what happened at the Black Mountain.
I have one or two questions specifically for the mines minister.
If indeed those miners, or rather scavengers as he casually referred to them, were illegal miners, can the honourable minister explain to the nation how his ministry allowed this to happen?
Few weeks before that tragedy, he assured the nation that operations at Black Mountain were safe.
I would like to believe security is part of safety measures in mining. So, how did these “illegal” miners bypass security so easily in broad daylight?
Is the minister telling us that there is no security at Black Mountain that every Jim and Jack can just walk through and start mining at freewill?
If that is not the case, let the minister tell the nation who we should hold accountable for allowing those “illegal” miners to invade the Black Mountain and flout those security measures you claimed your ministry had put in place just a few weeks ago.
Mining disasters are 90% caused by human error and pure negligence. It is obvious negligence is to blame in this case and such negligence cannot go unpunished.
Kampa Senkwe

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