- September 5, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
A Jena mine gang leader Godfrey Ganagana died on duty whilst inspecting the safety of passage for his colleagues after the morning blast on Thursday at the Mine’s N15 section Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Workers Union has said.
The following is a statement issued by the Union.
“The Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Workers Union has leant with great sadness the death of Godfrey Ganagana at Jena Mines in a suspected case of suffocation after inhaling dangerous gas emission whilst conducting inspections underground.
It is unfortunate that Ganagona, a gang leader met his fate while he had gone to inspect the safety of passage for his colleagues after the morning blast on September 3, 2020, at the Mine’s N15 Section and was at level 210 metres from the surface.
It is believed that he died from inhaling carbon dioxide after he entered a zone with broken pipes containing compressed air and water further, exposing him to serious occupational hazards.
The union is disturbed that the victim was forced to perform that task without the required gas monitor device which is used to detect the presence of dangerous gas emission in the underground mine shafts.
This negligence on the part of the employer for failing to provide such lifesaving equipment amounts to committing constructive murder and the mine authorities should be held accountable for the death of this innocent worker who has left behind two children.
It is said that employers have chosen to neglect the issues of safety and health of their workers ahead of profits, a situation which has led to continuous silent and callous deaths in most mining companies across the country.
Given this sad development, the union is calling on the company to institute an independent investigation by inspectors from the National Social Security Authority and officials from the trade union to establish the exact circumstances leading to the death of Ganagana who was also a strong member of the union who fought tirelessly for the rights of his peers.
We are calling on mining companies to stop mortgaging the lives of their workers by exposing them to avoidable occupation risks by ensuring that watertight safety measures are put in place to safeguard their workers against such avoidable accidents during the line of their duties.
It is also worrying that this year alone, more than 10 workers have died in occupation accidents in both conventional and artisanal mines across the country yet nothing meaningful is being done by relevant authorities to address these callous acts which have not only taken away innocent lives but have robbed families of their breadwinners.
The union warns employers that it will take stern penalties on employers found on the wrong side of the law and if these acts of unnecessary loss of lives continue, it will not hesitate to mobilize its members and stage targeted protests at the premises of these profit-oriented capitalists who do not respect the sanctuary of human life by continuing to put the lives of workers on the “firing line”.