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Government silence on battlefields disaster a disgrace

by Jacob Mafume
15 Feb 2019 at 09:41hrs | Views
A dark cloud has enveloped Zimbabwe following the Battlefields disaster where 38 miners are presumed dead. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the miners.

The MDC is however concerned by the government's silence on the battlefields disaster.
It is a National Disaster which must be treated as such. The same attention the government placed on   recent bus disasters must be accorded on the Battlefields disaster. And even more importantly the number being referred to is an estimate.

It is therefore imperative to take urgent rescue measures as there is a possibility to save lives. We have always raised our concerns on the effort the government places on ensuring the safety of artisanal miners.

The only time the government cares about them is when they take away the gold and pay them in RTGS or bond notes while they earn foreign currency and line pockets of the elites. Every other small scale miner faces the same danger, flooding risk is nationwide.

The MDC is aware of the Zanu PF government's attempt to make the sector a partisan sphere. This has prevented stakeholders to assist and the miners to form Unions which would have sought to address conditions and safety issues.

In the future the MDC suggests the following:

1.  That the safety of artisanal miners be prioritised through the adoption of active policy measures.
2.  There must be an active program to build facilities especially on water and sanitation around mining areas where small scale minors operate and dwell.
3.  Depoliticisation of the sector.
4.  Transparency in the licensing of small scale miners
5.  Payment of small scale miners in United States dollars for the gold sold through Fidelity.
    -  Establishment of a dedicated emergency rescue framework in every mining area specifically the ones where small scale miners operate.
    -  Continuous assessment of the mining areas as opposed to criminalization of activity.

Behold the New. Change that delivers!

Jacob Mafume
MDC National Spokesperson

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Source - Jacob Mafume

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