Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini has ordered Mines Minister Richard Musukwa to render a ministerial statement over the death of 10 jerboas after Black Mountain collapsed on them yesterday.
Speaker Matibini made this ruling after leader of the opposition in the House Jack Mwiimbu rose on a point of order, wondering why Musulkwa had misled the House, and the nation, that safety measures were in place at the Black Mountain after it was surrendered to Jerabos.
“We were assured by the Minister of Mines that the operations at the Black Mountain are not a disaster waiting to happen and that all measures of safety had been put in place by the government of the Republic of Zambia and that there would be no accidents arising from the assurances he received. Mr Speaker, today, we have received very tragic news pertaining to the operations of the Black Mountain. A number of our dear ones in Kitwe have perished and others are in hospital. Mr Speaker, is the Honorable Minister of Mines in order to have misled the House and to have assured the nation and operators at that mine that all safety measures were in place and that there would be no accidents?” asked Mwiimbu.
“As if that is not enough, even after that assurance was made on the floor of this House, there were reports of disasters at that mountain which were circulating in the media and no measures have been taken by the government to ensure that there is safety until today that we have this disaster. This is the second most serious disaster since 1971, in this country, in the mining industry. Are they in order, Mr Speaker, to allow a disaster to happen due to their negligence? Now, there is a disaster in Kitwe and the whole country is mourning, are they in order Mr Speaker?”
In his ruling, Speaker Matibini asked Musukwa to render a ministerial statement on the matter.
“My office has already been approached with the view to the minister in question, render a ministerial statement and we should have it sooner than later,” said Speaker Matibini.