No Kamandama Mine Disaster commemorations this year
Sikhumbuzo Moyo, [email protected]
Hwange Colliery Company will this year not be commemorating the June 6, 1972, Kamandama Mine disaster that claimed the lives of 427 miners due to what the coal mining giant says are unforeseen circumstances.
Disaster struck on the morning of June 6, 1972, following an underground methane gas explosion.
The disaster remains the country’s worst mine catastrophe and ninth in the world and of late, there has been growing calls from civic and traditional leaders, especially from Hwange, to declare June 6 a national day of mourning in honour of the gallant miners who lost their lives in the disaster whose first explosion happened at 10.25am.
It is the 9th worst mine disaster in the world with the 1942 Benxihu Colliery mine disaster in China which claimed 1 549 lives topping the unfortunate list.
Hwange Colliery Company spokesperson, Dr Beauty Mutombe said widows of the victims will be allowed to visit the site to lay their wreaths where they will be assisted by the company.
“No on-site commemorations by the generality of the people this time. Widows are coming to lay their wreaths as and when they can and are being assisted as usual. It’s the on-site commemorations this year, which is not being celebrated due to unforeseen circumstances,” said Dr Mutombe.
The commemorations are usually done with some traditional rituals by the families with the signature of the event being the one minute of silence and a controlled blast at exactly 10.25am.