Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) yesterday launched the Kabandama Memorial Trust Fund Scholarship Fund to benefit underprivileged children in the area.
The scholarship will cover children from primary school up to tertiary level.
Speaking during a function to commemorate the lives of 427 miners who perished at the mine in 1972, HCCL managing director Fred Moyo said the funds would be ready for disbursement next month.
He said the funds were obtained from a memorial golf tournament held on Tuesday that raised about $20 000 and another tournament held last year.
“We are now in a position to put our scholarship in place to assist underprivileged children,” Moyo said.
“The board has approved the programme and it has been placed in the hands of management. We will not be able to cover every deserving case, but we will do our best to be as objective and considerate to the circumstances.
“We will work with traditional leaders in the selection of the beneficiaries.”
Moyo said the company was aware of government efforts to empower communities, adding: “HCCL already runs a town at great cost unlike other mines.
“We are, however, ready to organise other surrounding business to support the government effort to improve quality of life in our community.
“We recently acquired the most advanced mining computer system in the country.
“We have reorganised our production systems to save cash. Actions such as reducing contractor activity are aimed at improving company finances.
“We are trying to export coal although we are meeting obstacles placed by various competing interest groups at international trading level.”
Moyo said despite economic challenges, HCCL had invested a lot towards improving workers’ safety.
Speaking at the same event, Matabeleland North governor Sithokozile Mathuthu urged all mining companies to uphold the safety of their workers.