COAL mining company, Hwange Colliery, says preparations for its fund-raising golf tournament, which coincides with the 46th anniversary commemorations of the Kamandama mine disaster, were at an advanced stage.
By Nokuthaba Dlamini
The tournament is aimed at raising at least $20 000 for survivors of the disaster, which claimed the lives of 427 miners following an underground methane gas explosion at the mine on June 6, 1972.
In a statement last week, company spokesperson, Rugare Dobbie said the commemorations will be held at Hwange Golf Club, with the golf tournament set for June 5 being the main attraction at the two-day event.
“The commemorations are to be held on Wednesday June 6 starting at 8am. There will be a high powered government delegation accompanying the guest of honour,” she said.
“This year will be the 46th anniversary of the disaster and, as is the norm, the event will be graced by chiefs, widows, customers and suppliers.”
Dobbie said more than a third of those who perished were citizens of Zimbabwe’s neighbouring countries of Malawi, Namibia, Mozambique and Botswana.
“The commemorations are an annual event held at the site of the blast, which was turned into a monument in remembrance of those who lost their lives,” she said.
“More than 120 social golfers are expected to converge at the Hwange Golf Course, with the organisers targeting to raise at least $20 000 from this year’s edition.
Proceeds of the tournament will go towards the welfare of the surviving widows and their families.”
Dobbie said the tragedy ushered in a new and better approach to safety management in the mining sector.
The tournament is expected to attract golfers from South Africa, Zambia and Botswana and will be played on a four-ball better ball scoring format, which consists of two teams of two players competing against each other.
The explosion remains the country’s worst mine disaster.
Meanwhile, hundreds of colliery workers wives and widows are still protesting at the company’s premises since January 29 over non payment of salaries dating back from 2013.