By Hicks Sikazwe
Collum coal mine in Sinazeze, Southern province shut in 2013 for poor safety standards has been opened with a warning to Chinese management to adapt to local culture to avoid conflict.
President Edgar Lungu threatened government would withdraw the operating license if the firm did not comply with acceptable safety levels.
“I have gone round the mine, there are no showers or change rooms, which means you are not ready today. “He said at a recent ceremony to reopen the mine.
The president’s remarks come shortly after a few weeks ago, when the workers compensation control board expressed concern at the falling standards of safety in the mining industry.
In Sinazeze, he instructed Works and Supply deputy minister Richwell Siamunene to ensure that unless collum mine met standards the company should not be allowed to operate.
On the need to maintain unity and foster good relations the President noted, “To the Chinese management, you are welcome to t work in this part of the country and the government will support you.”
But he advised, “Look for human resource practitioners who will link you to both Zambian and Chinese cultures for purpose mainitaing peace in the mine.”
The president urged community interaction at all levels for the two groups to co-exist. Colum coal mine was closed two years ago following discovery of poor safety standards including lack of protective clothing for many workers.
Coal is a critical product demanded by mine companies on the Copperbelt and North western provinces.