The government has reaffirmed its commitment in working closely with stakeholders in the mining sector to ensure that national and international benchmarks on safety, health and environmental sustainability are adhered to.

Matabeleland North Minister of State Ambassador Cain Mathema made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf at the 46th Kamandama Commemorations in Hwange.

The Hwange community, friends, relatives, fellow mining organisations, religious organisations, Zanu PF leadership and traditional leaders all came together to support the families who lost their loved ones during the Kamandama Mine disaster in which 427 mine workers died in a gas explosion at an underground mine on the 6th of June in 1972.

Government has pledged to continue to foster the promotion of a preventative safety and health culture for the achievement of a safe and healthy working environment at the work place, notes Ambassador Mathema.

“May i reiterate the government of Zimbabwe`s commitment towards zero injury zero damage and zero pollution of the environment in the various sectors of the economy, more importantly in mining. In collaboration with various mining stakeholders and their respective boards, our government will continue to set, enforce and oversee the implementation of the highest safety standards in our industries,” said Ambassador Mathema.

Some of the delegates who attended the event at the Kamandama Memorial Site called on the government to ensure that mining inspectors are visible in the industry to ensure that issues of health and safety are observed at all times.

The commemorations were held at a time when Hwange Colliery has adopted a new management system which covers safety and environmental issues.

The company employees also have been undergoing training on safety standards to make the work environment safer and enhance competitiveness on the global market.

As per tradition, the commemorations kicked off a day before with a golf tournament aimed at raising funds to support the surviving widows who lost their spouses during the disaster.

This year over US$20 000 was raised from the one day tournament.

Local artists also added flavour to the memorial service by reciting poems and performing plays that promote the issues of safety at the workplace.