BULAWAYO residents yesterday held a moving funeral service for 22 Zimbabweans who perished in a mine disaster last month before their bodies were taken to various districts for burial.
Two of the victims Sipho Ntimeni and Canaan Dube were buried in Kezi and Bulawayo respectively yesterday while the rest of would be buried today.
Senior political leaders that included Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa and Bulawayo East MP Tabitha Khumalo attended the service. Khumalo told Southern Eye the government should consider declaring the tragedy a national disaster.
“It is disheartening that due to the government’s failure to provide jobs for the youth, we have lost potential future leaders,” she said.
“What kind of leadership and decision makers do we have when we lose such a huge number of people who have been denied their right to employment?
“These children did not die in vain, but they have proved to the global world that the Zimbabwean government has failed to respect the human rights of the citizens.”
Youth in Mining in Zimbabwe president Sibongile Sibanda said the government should assist relatives of the dead miners.
“The government must chip in and allocate loans to the youth who are interested in mining to start up their own mining projects,” she said.
“This will decrease the number of illegal miners in the country.”
Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa said the deaths showed that the country had lost its values.
“It is unfortunate that as a country we have neglected our values to the extent that we lose all these children,” he said.
Zanu PF representatives at the service refused to talk to journalists from the private media.