By Staff Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S mine workers have called on parliament to help establish a compensation scheme for members who would have died or maimed during the course of duty.
This follows a fatal mine accident involving a worker at Zimplats’ Ngwarati-Mine in Mhondoro-Ngezi on Sunday.
The worker was one of the contractors who succumbed to injuries sustained after a high wall collapsed at the Ngwarati-Mine box cut.
Speaking through Zimbabwe Diamond Allied and Minerals Workers Union of Zimbabwe (ZDAMWU) general secretary Justice Chinhema, ZDAMWU said it was “relieved that the rest of the employees who were underground when the tragedy occurred have been evacuated by the Zimplats Proto Team.”
He added that such tragedies save to strengthen the miners’ group’s resolve to see through the enactment of the Occupation Safety and Health Bill.
Ngwarati-Mine is still under development.
“It is during that critical period during a miner’s development process that care and caution for the workers’ health and safety must be at the maximum so that lives would not be lost on avoidable safety issues,” he said.
Chinhema said this buttressed their calls for a compensation fund.
“As a union, we want to reiterate the point that it’s high time a compensation fund must be created through an Act of Parliament.
“That fund will compensate families of workers who lose lives through work related accidents or those who get injured.
“It is difficult to lose a breadwinner in the family; families at the death of the breadwinner are left stranded hence accidents like these are eye opening in that a compensation fund is now more critical than ever.
“Government is aiming to achieve a US$12 billion mining economy and this can only be achieved by having a healthy workforce in our mines,” he said.