CNRG Urges Assistance For Kamandama Mine Disaster Survivors

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By Staff Reporter

THE Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) has called on government, parliament and Hwange Colliery to assist survivors of the 1972 Kamandama disaster in which 427 miners died.

The mine workers perished at the then Wankie Colliery’s Number 2 shaft when a series of underground gas explosions ripped through the mine.

In a statement recently, CNRG said the disaster embodied the disregard for the health and safety of mineworkers and their families.

The environmental rights group called on both government and Hwange Colliery Company limited (HCCL) to assist families, especially widows, who fell victim to the mining incident.

“The Kamandama disaster spelt a bleak future for the families of the victims who perished at the mine.

“The victims, mostly in their late 20s and early 30s then, left young families, who were then deprived of education and decent livelihoods.

“These families, mostly the widows, continue to be neglected by both the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) and the Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL). We call upon the GoZ and HCCL to take care of the socio-economic needs of these widows.”

CNRG also called on parliament to “protect the rights and dignity of the Kamandama widows and ensure they are compensated” while also taking the “lead in the formulation of mining investment laws that will protect Zimbabwean citizens”.

The group also urged government to build decent homes for the widows in their rural homes and to provide medical cover to the widows.

CNRG also noted that 22 widows at a commemoration event in Hwange 2019 said they were discouraged from remarrying at the time by HCCL management which stated they risked losing their benefits if they did.