Viewpoint: Closure Of Any Mine Hurt The Mining Community

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By Tilyenji Mwanza

13th May, 2019.

Yesterday, my stomach turned when I saw a headline that read 10 000 miners or mine affiliated employees suffer job cuts.

I have paid attention to all the political commentary which from all angles I call mockery.

Friends, I was raised from the gated town of Luanshya and if there exists a town that suffered this, Luanshya is the example.

When the mines closed we were crowned the ghost town, to many its just a term but I remember a walk through the streets and you could literally hear a ghostly whistle in the trees.

I lived in the Urban end of Luanshya, beautiful big houses, with beautiful backyards and fronts but can you imagine being able to smell a chicken that was being fried four houses away?

Life for us changed when Papa lost his job and it was not only in my house but you could literally sniff the poverty in the neighborhood.

We had our little Shoprite but the only commodity bought was bread, seeing someone pushing a trolley equated to Satanism and those that had money opted to shop out of town or late at night for fear of victimization.

Luanshya however, had a neighborly love, we all knew each other, it was not peculiar for you to knock next door or a door after asking for a cup of sugar, tu mealie meal tukosesha your nsima or cooking oil to add to your kachesha.
That is the life the closure of mines reduced us to.

We forgot what 16 was (snack time) breakfast, I learnt two things porridge ya salt and toba umutwe on good days.

Most of us had these pieces of land we called Kumabala and that sustained our households with, sweet-potato, groundnuts and maize during the season, but my recent visit showed that these pieces of land are now residential areas so takwaba amabala nomba.

Friends, this is not the time to play politics, both sides government and the opposition leaders, say whatever you want but trust me you have no clue whatsoever what those families will go through if this is not rectified.

Even our social amenities got distracted and have never recovered, we had the trust school in Luanshya its a bare skeleton of itself.

The swimming pool, tennis and squash club. We had the bowling and Arts theatre which all died.

People’s lives will seriously be affected and engulfed in misery.

In my Grade 10 I spent one term at Luanshya Girls, a class of 40 and we could share three bags of popcorn. A little fritter we could split among three. If one had a lunch box it was like Christmas descending.

I may write this in a joking manner but those who grew up with me can retell the story.
We need to do something to serve those people from unemployment!



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