Jerabos riot in Kitwe
By Staff Reporter
Police in Kitwe have fought running battles with illegal small scale miners known as jerabos in Wusakile following the closure of the sinkhole near the South Ore Body shaft by Mopani Copper Mines.
The illegal miners rioted, breaking property and smashing vehicles on Mindola road.
Classes at Kalela Primary School were immediately suspended and pupils ordered to leave the school following the disturbance.
Armed police officers are patrolling the area and removing the burning tyres and shrubs used to block Mindola road.
Two vehicles, a truck belonging to Mine Workers Union of Zambia Milling which was distributing mealie meal and a Ford Ranger belonging to a private company, had their windows smashed as the rioters attempted to loot.
The perimeter wall at Mopani’s South Ore Body Shaft was brought down by the rioters who were mostly youths who managed to steal construction materials such as steel bars, among others.
Anti-riot police, including the Anti-robbery squad, have been deployed to Wusakile and Chamboli and are currently keeping vigil of the situation that still remains tense.
Mopani Copper Mines Public Relations Manager Nebert Mulenga said Mopani has secured the sinkhole near the South Ore Body (SOB) in Kitwe as a safety precaution in line with mine safety regulations.
Mulenga said the sinkhole is a caving area within Mopani Copper Mine Plc’s mining rights area, adding that the move is aimed at curtailing all illegal mining activities.