Zama Zamas have been neglected by government officials

Aug 14, 2023 - 19:03
Aug 16, 2023 - 23:24
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Zama Zamas have been neglected by government officials

Editor: Mulamuleli Tshitangano 

It is unfortunate that this people who would take a risk go deep down into the mother earth to dig, and extracts gold which is not readily available, but they got to take a risk, they go down down into the earth and extract into the darkness and do their best to get whatever they find to feed their families, because they got families, they got children, they're unemployed. Some of them got experience as far as mining is concerned. When the mines closed they were left behind and abandoned but they had experience with mining, they have expertise, their only option was to go down and extract the gold. At one stage dagga was declared illegal many who sold dagga were incaserated sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison but today dagga is legal.

 The zama zamas are now arrested on the basis that they're extracting gold unlawfully, it is only lawfully when this gold is mined by private companies by mines that had been given over to government officials. Some of the mines are owned by the government officials and some of the mines cohorts with the mine magnet but now this zama zamas they got no option, they're far away from the farms, maybe they could be working in the farms and most of them are illiterate most of them could have gone better it's not that they're not intelligent but the circumstances is beyond their control for them to live a better lives.

 But today they're being shouted, they're being  harassed by the police, they're being harrassed by our government, but we expect this people because they're foreign nationals who have being abandoned way back home but without stealing from anyone instead of they go down to the earth and extract whatever they can to feed their families. They bring gold back to earth work on it and sell it for their own benefits. But they're being harrassed , embarrassed, humiliated public on national tv imagine your father being kicked and arrested on tv screen you see him there he was trying to bring food at home but he will never do that instead fighting for bread is an offence.
 This government officials cabinet ministers sitting in prestigious organisation enjoying fancy lifestyle escorted driving expensive Mercedes German cars moving around with bodyguards while this zama zama are being arrested and beaten. In other words this zama zamas have experience they can use it let it be legalize if they have to pay for it let them pay monthly fee, because only mining magnet from USA, from Britain, have access to our minerals look at what is happening 45 or 55 trucks would pass by Vivo loading copper from Zambia but if you look at Sudan, Zimbabwe the Africans are sufferings but mines are been extracted minerals are been taken over to USA , China, Britain, we are left behind empty handed. With the rugged clothes then we have to consider it being unfortunate, it is sometimes very much unfortunate to say it is curse to be a black person. We're  subject to all types of exploitation. Minister Gwede Mantashe he could have known quite before time that this unattended to  mines which have been paid for recitation, and for rehabilitation, the government officials pay them and they took R450 000 000 and they're gone. What about this miners who had been left behind to feed themselves, with no schooling, illiterate, but with experience but they are denied the right to find a way to sought themselves and have something on the table, they've got children, they need houses, it is just the same thing with umkhonto we sizwe who had left their families many years ago to fight in Zambia, Angola,  they are here today solely marching during rally's with uniform what about those who stay behinds, cowards who stays behinds, they got cars, but only Umkhonto we Sizwe they can only march during rally's and burials. 

Some never returned, some have been blackmailed, some have left their families and never find their way back, some are in the prisons in the foreign Land, we don't know where they're but here today those who remains and stay behind are in government Gwede Mantashes, you can name them, the Blade Ndzimandes, they can only speak and address because they are good at articulating for their own advantages. Today we have zama zamas if even they can arrest them and leave others will take over, they have got no option, no alternative, no one can employ them, no one needs them, the mines and the bosses abandoned them, the government abandoned them, even some of them they have been abandoned by their wives, because  they're struggling no woman can keep an idle unemployment man so they're abandoned masses. They're not supposed to be called zama zamas. They must be called the abandoned masses' 

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Phillimon Sefake Phillimon Sefake is a creative writer and literary scholar