All set for 2018 Kamandama commemorations

Preparations for the 46th commemorations of Kamandama Mine disaster where more than 427 miners died after an explosion at number two colliery in 1972 are at an advanced stage.

The commemorations will be held in the mining town of Hwange.

Thousands of people are expected to attend the two day event starting off with a golf tournament on the 5th of June at the Hwange Golf Club.

The explosion which claimed 472 miners on June 6 was caused by a methane gas explosion which was followed by a cold dust explosion. The miners died after a methane gas explosion ripped through the shaft trapping them inside. The explosion remains the country’s worst mine disaster.

“The commemorations are to be held on Wednesday the 6th of June starting 8am. There will be a high powered government delegation accompanying the guest of honour. 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.

Over 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.

The commemorations event will be preceded by a fundraising golf tournament where more than 120 golfers are expected to participate on Tuesday the 5th of June.

The proceeds of the tournament will go towards the welfare of the surviving widows and their families. “The tragic event has ushered in a new and better approach to safety management in the mining sector. As a result, the mining industry has made great strides in the area of safety since that fateful day, says Rugare Dhobbie.

She said the disaster heightened safety consciousness within Hwange Colliery and the mining industry in general and that it should be a lesson for the future. History is important as it informs future behaviour.

More than 120 social golfers are expected to converge at the Hwange Golf Course on the 5th of June for the annual Kamandama Memorial Fundraising Golf Tournament with the organisers targeting to raise at least $20 000 from this year’s edition.

Proceeds from the tournament go towards assisting widows and dependants of the victims of the Kamandama Mine Disaster which claimed 427 lives on June 6, 1972 following a methane explosion.

The tournament is expected to attract golfers from South Africa, Zambia and Botswana and will be played in a four-ball better ball scoring format which consists of two teams of two players competing against each other.

“We are finalising the preparations for the commemorations and we kick-start with the golf tournament which will be held on Monday the 5th followed by the memorial on Tuesday. We have set this year’s target at $20 000 says Hwange Colliery Corporate affairs Manager Rugare Dhobbie.

Dhobbie says the funds would be raised through donations from Hwange Colliery Company business partners who were sponsoring a variety of goods which would be auctioned during the tournament on the 5th of June.

Organisers of the event are still receiving a number of applications for the tournament and confirmed that golfers from neighbouring countries such as Zambia will take part in the competition.