Workers protest closure of Zhongdu mine by ZEMA

POLICE in riot gear yesterday morning stopped more than 500 miners at Zhongdu mining company in Chambishi from walking to Kitwe to protest over the decision by Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) to withdraw the mining license of their employer

The workers were protesting over the decision by ZEMA to withdraw the mining license of Zhongdu because the mining company had employed more than 500 workers and withdrawing its mining license could throw all the 500 workers onto the streets.

Both Copperbelt Acting Police Chief Joyce Kasosa and National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW President James Chansa confirmed the protest by the workers in separate interviews in Kitwe.

Ms Kasosa said police officers rushed to the scene in Chambishi to ensure that the situation was under control but the miners were peaceful and decided to call off their protest after being addressed by their union officials.

“It was not a clash between miners and the police as you are putting it,  it was a peaceful protest by the miners over the decision by ZEMA to withdraw the mining license of their employer Zhongdu.

“They wanted to walk to Kitwe to protest over the decision by ZEMA to withdraw the mining license of Zhongdu, but they were stopped from walking to Kitwe by the police officers and they obliged,” Ms Kasosa said.

And speaking later, NUMAW president James Chansa, who rushed to the scene told the Daily Nation in Kitwe that the more than 500miners were protesting over the decision by ZEMA to withdraw the mining license of Zhongdu which was doing some mining works for Non-Ferrous Mining Company of Africa (NFCA).

Mr Chansa said there were certain agreements between NFCA and ZEMA, but he was not able to disclose or talk about them.”Our members were protesting over the decision by ZEMA to withdraw the mining license of Zhongdu which has employed more than 500workers. Their fear was that if the mining license of their employer is withdrawn, they would all be thrown into the streets,” Mr Chansa said.

 

 

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