Zambian miners surviving on kaloba, says Kasonka
By Staff Reporter
Trade union activist Nkweto Kasonka says while copper prices are doing very well on the world market, miners, especially at Konkola Copper Mines in Chingola, are becoming poor and poorer.
Lamenting on the plight of Zambia’s miners, Kasonka posted on his Facebook page on Tuesday, that miners were really suffering.
“The copper price is doing very well at the market while miners are becoming poor and poorer. Tonnes of copper are being shipped overseas, we are only remaining with empty pits and underground holes. Our copper is being stockpiled,” Kasonka stated. “If it is true Zambia is the second largest copper producer in Africa, then corresponding benefits must go down to a common miner.”
He said life was difficult for miners.
“They are being sustained by Kaloba. If one borrows K2,000, one should expect to pay back K3,000 after a month. They do not have a choice. When they go to the lending instutions to borrow, interest rates are so high again,” Kasonka stated further. “At KCM, there is a category of workers who are paid in dollars and this is a category which does nothing apart from talking on phones while the actual miner (shimaini), is getting peanuts.When it comes to contractors , the child of a mining contractor will never get education, no matter how intelligent, there is no money,there is no job security.”
He highlighted that the miners’ work environment was hazardous.
“I have gone underground where miners work from, it’s risky and the job is hard. This is a reason why miners look slimy and unhealthy. The envoronment is hazardous coupled with poor diets,” Kasonka complained. “The reason why miners and communities are suffering is as a result of having wrong investors and poor policies to govern the mining sector. Aluta contnua.”