Power and Politics

Hichilema returns from COP28, expresses sadness at loss of lives in Chingola mine disaster


President Hakainde Hichilema has returned from the COP28 where he held several engagements to now face national issues, among them the Chingola mine accident.

Hichilema had been in the United Arab Emirates since November 29, to attend the COP28 meetings.

Read more: Many illegal miners feared trapped in Chiwempala pits, Chingola

His return came barely hours after the Edgar Lungu-led Patriotic Front (PF) vice president, Given Lubinda, called on President Hichilema to abandon his trip in the United Arab Emirates.

Lubinda said this would give him time to mourn with the families that lost their beloved ones in the open pit mine accident in Chingola on the Copperbelt Province.

The Edgar Lungu PF vice president described as totally unacceptable the minimal attention being given to the mining disaster that had claimed multiple lives in Chingola.

The Head of State upon his return wrote on his official Facebook handle that: “Accompanied by the First Lady, we have returned home from COP28 in the United Arab Emirates.

“We deeply appreciate your ongoing support and prayers. However, we are profoundly saddened by the unfortunate situation in Chingola on the Copperbelt, where our citizens are trapped in the mining slug.”

He further mentioned that government efforts are directed towards Chingola in support of the rescue effort.

“Let us all stand together in these difficult moments,” Hichilema said.

Since the mine accident occurred three-days ago this was the first time the Head of State spoke on the matter.

About 31 miners in Chingola are reportedly trapped in the mining holes.

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