Protesting KCM miners clash with police

IRATE miners at Grinaker LTA, a contracted company engaged by Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) in Chililabombwe, on October 18 attacked police officers with catapults during a protest over poor conditions of service.

The miners working at shaft number four engaged police in skirmishes and also blocked the Chililabombwe-Kasumbalesa road with stones but quick action by police dispersed them.

Acting Copperbelt police commanding officer Milner Muyambango said in an interview in Kitwe yesterday that the miners attacked the police officers after they were dispersed from KCM plant.

He said the miners blocked some township roads and burnt tyres but police immediately moved in to restore peace. “The miners in Chililabombwe this morning fought running battles with police, they started stoning the police officers using catapults after they were removed from the plant. The miners also blocked the road leading to Kasumbalesa but now the situation has normalised,” Mr Muyambango said. He said the police did not arrest any miner during the fracas.

And miners at China Non-Ferrous Corporation (NFCA) in Chambishi yesterday evening protested over management’s refusal to award them a K2 million salary increase. The miners blocked the road with stones but quick action by police prevented the protest from degenerating into a riot.

Acting Copperbelt police commanding officer Milner Muyambango said in an interview yesterday that 60 police officers have been deployed to Chambishi to maintain law and order. Mr Muyambango said the workers burnt tyres and blocked the road with stones but that no-one was injured.

“The workers at Chambishi NFCA have been protesting for three weeks now. Yesterday [Tuesday] in the evening they blocked the Kitwe-Chingola road. They burnt tyres on the road and put huge stones but no-one was injured,” he said.

Mr Muyambango said the protests in Chambishi and Chililabombwe have so far been peaceful and that the police have not made any arrests. He said police will continue maintaining law and order to protect lives and property in the communities.

[Zambia Daily Mail]

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