|Southern Province police
commanding officer Lemmy Kajoba confirmed the
Eleven workers at the Chinese-run
Collum Coal Mine in Sinazongwe District were yesterday allegedly shot at and
wounded by managers after they protested over bad conditions of
And deputy speaker of the National Assembly Mutale Nalumango
ordered that Vice-President George Kunda or Home Affairs minister Mkhondo Lungu
explain to the nation about the shooting, following Sinazongwe member of
parliament Raphael Muyanda’s point of order over the incident in his
The eleven are currently admitted to Maamba General
Sinazongwe District commissioner Oliver Pelete and Southern
Province police commanding officer Lemmy Kajoba confirmed the incident in
However, Pelete said calm had returned to the mine
as police had been dispatched to the area.
He named the victims as Simon
Simwete, Abby Siameba, a Mwanamusiya, Madinda Siamubotu and Wisdom
Others are Boston Munakaze, Wallen Muntanga, Humphrey Chimuka,
Brighton Siamfuna, Boas Siapwaya, Vincent Chengela and Ward
“Police are investigating the matter; we want the culprits to
be brought to book. We have advised the people to be calm. The controversy was
over conditions of service,” Pelete said.
“I am told the Chinese were
fearing that miners would attack them so they reacted by shooting at them. This
happened early morning today Friday. We have asked the security to carry out
investigations and arrest the suspects. The victims are at Maamba Hospital being
attended to by medical personnel.”
Pelete said one of the victims was
shot in the stomach while others were shot on the hands and legs.
shotgun was used so the small pellets harmed a number of them. The doctors are
trying to operate on the worker who was shot in the stomach so that they can
remove the pellets. His condition is stable and the others are stable too,”
An eyewitness told The Post that the Chinese employers shot
the victims in the neck, mouth, head, shoulder, chest and other parts of their
“The victims were temporarily admitted at Sinazeze clinic before
they were transported to Maamba General Hospital,” the witness said. “After the
shooting incident, the miners and local people got upset, they started protests.
Even now people are still protesting.”
The witness said riot police
officers had moved in to quell the violence.
And Muyanda, who stood on a
point of order in the National Assembly, demanded for an explanation from the
government over the shooting incident.
“Is the minister of Home Affairs
in order to keep quiet when 11 miners at Collum Coal Mine were shot and injured
by their Chinese employers for simply asking for their earnings? Why is this
government allowing Chinese to be abusing our people over their own resources?”
an emotionally charged Muyunda asked.
“Yes, we need investors but are
these the type of investors we need? Should we call for investors who can come
and start harming our people? I want him to explain to the nation what really
In her ruling, Nalumango said Vice-President Kunda or Lungu
must give an explanation to the nation about the matter.
“Looking at the
seriousness of the issue raised by Hon Muyanda, I am asking His Honour the
Vice-President or the minister of Home Affairs to come and tell the nation next
week what could have transpired,” said Nalumango.