- December 19, 2019
- Posted in LOCAL
The Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers Union (ZDAMWU) is shocked over the decision by the Ministry of Mines to halt search operations for one of the trapped workers at Eskoveni Mine in Esigodini.
The union fully appreciates the efforts by co-workers,the employer who was very cooperative and some members of the community to retrieve the bodies of four trapped workers who met their fate after a shed they were working in collapsed into a disused mine shaft.
The union is disturbed that some Ministry officials, who are supposed to be professionals acknowledged that they did not know about the existence of the shaft because they did not have maps and other vital paperwork about the mine.
This to us, demonstrate beyond any reasonable doubt that the lives of mineworkers throughout the country are at serious risk since the responsible authorities might not be aware of the physical and geological state of these establishments.
We are also surprised as to why the Ministry officials lied that the Civil Protection Unit was on the ground helping with the rescue efforts when they were nowhere near the incident.
This development does not only expose the unprofessional conduct of ministry officials and other arms of government but has a serious bearing on investor confidence to say the least.
Instead of showing efficiency in conducting rescue operations in times of disasters like this, most of the officials from the Ministry’s inspection department are only visible in their sojourns of double allocation of claims and planting illegal gold miners in areas with rich gold deposits.
We are very disturbed that ministry officials have abandoned their duties of ensuring that proper safety and health measures are in place at every mine by resorting to collect bribes from mines to line their pockets.
We are as well worried about the continued existence of mining cartels which are sponsoring illegal mining activities because they are benefiting from the chaos.
They are spurning the formalisation of artisanal miners which is their creation in order to advance their economic interests.
We are therefore calling on Minister Chitando to read the riot act on these unscrupulous cartels leaders who are promoting the illegal mining activities which have cost the country millions of dollars in foreign currency.
The union will not hesitate to mobilise its members against anyone who fails to guarantee their safety at mining establishment throughout the country and engage in form of corruption
Lastly the union joins the families of the deceased in mourning their loved ones and also comfort the family of Andrea whose body remain buried in the shaft because of insensitive ministry officials who have prematurely abandoned the search when other options to retrieve the body were not fully exhausted.