By Nevson Mpofu
The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development which managed to rescue its millions of workers spared from covid-19 effects had earlier on put in place holistic measures. The measures in whole lot saved miners especially those illegals who work in dozens at one site.
Asked to comment over the phone in Harare on Thursday this week, Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Winston Chitando said the Government had already way-laid covid-19 before its disaster to miners in the country.
”Million workers in the sector survived threat of covid-19 despite its Global upsurge and strong prevalence. We had put holistic measures as we approached the on-set start of the disease that took the World by storm.
”We managed to save millions of lives, not only of miners, but their immediate, close families on the mining compounds. Their Health is important. If miners had succumbed to corona, then we would have house-holds affected by it . We never had such difficulties in the country, but we only had 10 infections ‘ This is confirmed by Unions,” he concludes referring this writer to the unions. .
Standing for Unions, Justice Chinhema an Expert in managing the running of unions pointed out that Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Mine Workers Union put in place measures from the beginning to curb the spread of corona. He added that although there arose infections at How Mine in Bulawayo, management of proper and efficient strategy with Health in mind saved millions of workers. Some mines like Unki Mine in Shurugwi , Hwange and How Mine where we had 10 cases had shown signs that would spell out health challenges for us .
”From the beginning, we had 10 cases at How Mine. There arose signs that at other mines like Unki and Hwange health problems related would emerge. We, however managed it at safe point in time.
”We quickly pushed the Government to call for closure. Tests were done in all mines. Compounds of miners were protected from the spread of corona. Workers got protective clothing. Sanitation Health was put in place. Mining compounds and work-places were disinfected. This was the strongest measure which made us succeed as we responded to the policy of lock-down.”
”Even Small to Medium and Artisanal miners survived threat of the corona-virus which now is just a talk in these places. We are moving on with Health measures put in place at all points. Health of mine workers was our main priority. We are playing it as it is testing, sanitizing, supplying protective clothes, gloves, temperatures and disinfecting, ” he concluded on telephone.