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Chingola tragedy, an indictment, sad lesson for all —Musonda 


Chingola District Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( CDCCI) president, Freddie Musonda, says the Sensele mine tragedy is an indictment for all stakeholders who failed to act on illegal mining.

About 18 days ago, 31 informal miners were reported to have been trapped after heavy down pour experienced in Chingola.

In interview in Chingola on Friday, Musonda said the mine tragedy was regrettable.

“We are all to blame for the tragedy because we did provide early warning to authorities but this is not the time to apportion blame to each other, all that should be done is look at ways to avoid the recurrence of this mining accident,” Musonda said.

Being a Chingola resident, he said he had seen mining operations evolve from manual to automaton.

Musonda was at a loss to see stakeholders permit unsafe and dangerous mining continue.

From the historical perspective, he said Sensele Open Pit was in the same scenario with Mimbula Open Pits, but that what was different was the mining methods.

He pointed out that for Mimbula Open Pit mine, an equity partner was brought in and the community programmed to benefit.

Musonda blamed lack of adherence to ethical and international standards in mining as reason for the tragedy.

He said it was sad to note that even mining unions whose responsibility included representing the interests of those not paying members did not raise alarm.

Read more: Chingola: Number of retrieved miners reaches 7, may hit 9 as two more spotted

Musonda said the country, having been mining for more than 100 years, had enough laws and regulations to prevent loss of life.

He added that lack of implementation of rules and regulations would continue posing a serious challenge.

In the early hours of December 1, 2023, it was reported that more than 30 miners got trapped when the tunnels they were mining from got flooded.

So far only 12 miners had been retrieved with only Mwasha Kakoma, 49, reportedly being the only one in a stable condition and out of danger.

The eleven have been put to rest as the search reaches 18 days, with relatives becoming impatient and hopeless.

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