MOPANI Copper Mines says it is moving towards implementing a 12-hour shift for operations and introducing foods with increased nutritional
benefits to the employees.
Some miners have indicated that the new food supplement they are being given heightens their libido.
Public relations manager Nerbert Mulenga stated that there were several varieties of these high nutrition foods, which were currently being used
across mines in Zambia and South Africa and are readily available in the Cereal sections of all leading supermarkets in Zambia.
“Mopani Copper Mines Plc is giving its employees the opportunity to select their favoured varieties of the high nutrition foods and, therefore, we are undertaking a transparent selection process for the preferred product. The ongoing process of assessing the employees’ preferred high nutrition food varieties should not be misconstrued to be a
clinical trial as the products have already been scientifically certified as effective energy foods,” he stated.
“Mopani Copper Mines Plc has also assured all employees that they retain the right not to take up any of the high nutrition foods provided by the company in the same way that some of them have been opting not to take the mine bread (Kampompo) and cocoa currently available to all miners. Further details will be provided as appropriate.”
Former Copperbelt minister Mwenya Musenge wondered whether the new supplement had State approval.
He said it would be very unfortunate of Zambian workers were being used as guinea pigs for tests for the energy foods.
“I want to say that personally I have never heard in the world where a worker can work for 12 hours. Their intention is to try and see if they can increase the man hours from eight to 12 hours,” Musenge said. “Firstly, the supplement that is being given, has it been approved by the necessary bodies? And secondly, was it agreed with the workers? Did they agree?”
Musenge also wondered whether the workers would be paid according to the labour laws if they start working 12 hours shifts.
He urged for caution in the implementation of the changes at Mopani Mine.
He feared that since the supplement is reportedly increasing sexual appetite for the consumers, there might be an increase in planned babies being born, defilement and rape.
“We are skeptical and the whole nation needs to be informed,” said Musenge.