Coal miner from Chinese mine in Zambia dies while detained

A miner at Chinese run Collum Coal mine in Southern Zambia died recently in a police cell after being detained by Zambia Police Service following differences with one of the mine officials.

Sinazongwe District Commissioner Oliver Pelete said the miner, Abron Siapoka, died last week while in detention and was later buried after he had differences with one of the company officials at the coal miner.

Mr Pelete said that “He died in a police cell after he was detained by police for some differences with one of the mine officials. He has since been buried.”

In recent months, Collum Coal mine management and workers have been embroiled in protracted differences over wages, resulting in the shooting and injuring of 13 employees at the company.

Mr Pelete said the affected miners that were shot and wounded by some management officials have since been compensated by the company. He could not state how much was given to the workers.

However, according to an agreement signed between the workers and management, compensation for workers ranges between USD 4,000 to USD 9,000. Salaries have been increased to about USD 100 per employee in addition to other conditions of service that have been revised in the aftermath of the October 15 shooting.

Mr Pelete said the two mine managers, Mr Xiao Li Shan and Mr Wu Jiu Hua would still appear in court over the matter in which the duo were charged for attempted murder following the shooting. The officials are on a USD 20,000 bail pending their appearance in court over the incident on October 15.

According to particulars of the offence, Xiao and Wu on October 15, 2010 jointly and while acting together unlawfully attempted to murder Bowas Siapwaya in Sinazongwe district.


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