Zambian miners suspended for sabotage

Chinese-owned NFC Africa Mining suspended 80 miners at its Chambishi copper mine for suspected sabotage to underground equipment, a workers’ union said on Monday, but output was unaffected.

More than 17 miners were last week rushed to hospital for treatment in Kitwe, 330 km north of Lusaka, after they were choked by smoke when an electric cable caught fire underground. Chambishi officials said they suspected sabotage by workers.

The Mine Workers Union of Zambia (MUZ) general secretary Oswell Munyenyembe said the union and the mine’s managers planned to meet on Tuesday over the matter.

Mines minister Maxwell Mwale separately said the mining company had informed the government about the suspected acts of sabotage by the miners.

Workers have previously rioted over poor pay at Chambishi and industry officials say even though the company has improved conditions of service and wages, miners still remain unhappy with their current pay averaging $400 per month.

NFC Africa Mining could not be immediately reached for comment.

Source: Reuters

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