National Restoration Party President, Elias Chipimo has offered his condolences to the families of the young men that lost their lives in what he described as Zambia’s worst mining “accident” in recent years.
Mr. Chipimo has called for the resignation of Mines Minister, Richard Musukwa who recently declared that mining operations at the Black Mountain were safe and it was not a disaster in waiting.
Mr.Chipmo said the accident was not only predictable, it was actually predicted.He has also called on President Lungu to appologize to the families of the victims for putting the lives of their loved ones at risk.
Below is the Full Press Statement
Blood on their hands
We received, with a heavy heart, the news that filtered through this morning about the death of many young Zambians while operating at the Black Mountain slag dump in Kitwe. We offer our sincere condolences to the families of the young men that have lost their lives in this terrible incident which ranks as Zambia’s worst mining “accident” in recent years.
This “accident” was not only predictable, it was actually predicted. Many, including NAREP, had warned of the danger of unsupervised operations at the slag dump. The decision to grant open access to a dangerous and unstable mine site reflects the irresponsibility of political leadership whose sole aim is to retain political power at any cost. President Lungu and his advisers must surely now reflect on how many lives they feel need to be needlessly lost in order to secure their political survival on the Copperbelt. They should answer the question as to whether they feel they have blood on their hands.
Three things are must be done from this point onwards:
(i) Mr. Richard Musukwa must resign as Minister of Mines – this is what any self-respecting individual who goes on record rubbishing the concerns of people’s safety a few days before an accident actually happens, would do;
(ii) the police, local authorities and the Ministry of Mines should take clear and comprehensive steps to ensure that no further mining operations take place without proper and enforceable guidelines that adhere to the law and safe mining practices; and
(iii) an apology should ensue from President Lungu to the families of the victims of this “accident” for putting the lives of their loved ones at risk.
In future, no politically motivated manoeuvres of this nature should be allowed to endanger the lives of communities yearning for empowerment. We have always said that there is a way to empower the youth on the Copperbelt. NAREP remains open and willing to provide these ideas and to work together towards their implementation in order to ensure that incidents like this never happen again.
Elias C. Chipimo
National Restoration Party (NAREP)
Elias Chipimo Vice President UPND
When the Jerabo were making money out of the Black Mountain you were quiet, now that there is a disaster you suddenly have something to say. Did you not see that it was a danger in the first place? I think some politicians cheapen themselves, don’t they have substance to talk about? You address the Jerabos and tell them to leave the mountain because it is not safe instead.
Look, it’s very clear that decisions where made by this PF government for political mileage. The President was more concerned about pleasing cadres and standing in 2021 than safety of lives. He made a bad decision. He must be man enough to accept the blame. Let’s be objective and point the finger where it should be pointed. President Edgar Chagwa Lungu
Really laughable …the minister of Mines is a former Science Primary School Teacher with Certificate in Education and
Diploma in Science Education…what do you seriously expect from such chaps!!
If you see a problem in Chipimo’s statement, you have something wrong with your head. This is about accountability, something we never demand from our leaders
Mean time the mine Minister says he won’t resign because the people killed are “scavengers” and mine accidents happen all the time. He cxant imagine not having that ministerial big car salary and house.
No morals, seared conscience. A real scavenger of a man
Lawsuit is the language incompetent politicians understand. The families of the young people who perished at this makeshift mine, need to sue the mines minister and Lungu for gross negligence and giving false assurance. That’s the only way we’ll make these incompetent leaders understand that the words they say and the actions they do can be a matter of life and death. No one should’ve ever been allowed at this deathtrap site—especially with no qualified official oversight. And yet this incompetent minister allegedly assured the country that the place was safe. How many more Zambians should needlessly lose their lives because of these incompetent leaders, before we begin to hold these politicians accountable? Also merit based hiring of leaders should be emphasized in Zambia…
(Continued) Putting people in positions of leadership, who are not educated enough to understand what their office requires, leads to disaster. Competent lawyers out there, sue these careless leaders on behalf of the Zambians who have needlessly lost their loved ones. Otherwise these mediocre leaders will keep doing this—for they care not about the poor.
Could someone confirm the actual number of people who died.
I hope Hon Musukwa does resign. He publicly declared that Black Mountain safe. Why hasn’t he said anything for the past two days? He needs to hang his head in shame.
The “Black Mountain” should be surrendered back to ZCCM-IH to create a processing plant to extract the residual base metal worth packed in the slag dump. The Chinese “infestor” and greedy Jerabo’s do not have the requisite capacity to maximise the value addition that would in turn create significant jobs and revenues from that public resource.
Fyonse Ma politics. Try to find solutions instead of making noise everyday. one other don’t you find it embarrassing coming out with paltry votes in all elections you participate in?
Mr. Chipimo you are very right but unfortunately African Ministers all over will never accept such or take responsibility over errors made by themselves. The Mines Minister castigated even the medias and people who sow it come. He belittled them now it has come to pass. God help we Zambians to understand things. I like what the copper belt Minister said that the Black Mountain be closed even if there are certain people who have keen interest in it.
Musukwa to resign is okay, but the president cannot apologize because the site was given to Zambians who were crying for empowerment. The minister was supposed to supervise the operations on behalf of government and if he had delegated experts to the site, they would have advised him on the dangers or they could have been controlling the operations. The problem we have in Zambia like 1.0 has pointed out, it’s like all politicians pray for things to go wrong so that they have a chance to ridicule government. This is time for morning and reflection not for ” rejoicing”.
The President has three options – suspend Richard Musukwa for now, fire him or give him a less sensitive ministry like the one which was for Victoria Kalima. 10 young lives have died needlessly, there must be some consequences surely
What happened at the Black Mountain is regrettable and heart breaking. The empowerment of our youth’s is Noble but it must be done with warious considerations. Mining is a specialised activity which require expertise. It is not just like taking a hoe and go in the bush to prepare a Shamba. They are plenty of ex miners who are rotting in their homes whom the government should have incorporated in this activity for a safer operation. Re look at this.
Obviously I expect the Minister of mines to resign on moral grounds if not he should be shown the door.
Resign?? Pa Zambia?? They only do so to form another party, not on moral grounds.
The Authorities feared the Jerabos and not only gave them the Black Mountain but also feared to regulate operations at the dump site as per Mining Regulations.
Even you Elias Chipimo could have been slapped for what you are saying.
SAD that people have died.
GRZ Its your move now !.
Yes in normal countries he would resign. But now we are not in a normal country are we?
With the vile and insolent mouth you have, are you any more educated than the minister? Your physical stature sharply differs from your mental stature. It is time you began exercising your brain (with knowledge), it may catch up with your physical stature so that we do not mistake you for Childish too, as I often do.
@#11, In normal countries when your vehicle does not yield to the president’s motorcade and your cadres are insolet, you resign, right?
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