8 April 2011

Zambia: Ndola Stadium Fire Will Be Probed, Assures State

THE Government has assured the nation that it will thoroughly investigate the cause of fire at National Stadium in Ndola last week which claimed the lives of two workers and that its findings will be made public.

The Government has also advised the families of the two accident victims, Justin Mubanga and Alepha Muwowo to report to the office of the Copperbelt Permanent Secretary today for the process of compensation to start.

And Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Company (AFECC), the contractors for the stadium, has donated K9 million to the family of its late employee, Muwowo, who died from burns from the fire on Tuesday.

Speaking when he addressed mourners at Mitengo Cemetery in Ndola yesterday during the burial of Muwowo, Sport, Youth and Child Development Deputy Minister, Brian Sikazwe said investigations were still going on and that the nation would be informed of the outcome.

Sikazwe, who was with Copperbelt Permanent Secretary, Villie Lombanya and other senior officials, said the Government was saddened by the deaths and assured the bereaved families that they would be briefed on the findings of last Thursday's inferno.

He called on all AFECC employees, both local and Chinese, to embrace peace and harmony as they work towards completion of the $65 million-structure.

In comforting the families, Sikazwe said no amount of compensation could equate to the loss of lives of the two victims.

"As Government we would like to express our heartfelt condolences to both bereaved families and friends. I would like to assure you that investigations are still going on and immediately they are concluded, you shall be informed of the outcome," said Sikazwe who earlier visited the accident site.

Sikazwe requested the affected family members of the deceased to visit Lombanya's office today to enable Government start processing the compensation for the two AFECC workers.

He said the Government would do everything possible to ensure the families were given everything due to them.

Meanwhile, AFECC has donated K9 million to Muwowo's family after raising the money through contributions from workers at the site.

And AFECC vice-president, Chen Ju, who did not attend the burial, asked Sikazwe to convey to Muwowo's family his firm's deepest sorrow over his death.

Mubanga and Muwowo sustained serious burns on Thursday last week after fire erupted in a water tank they were working on.

Both were admitted to Ndola Central Hospital's Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where Mubanga died on Saturday, while Muwowo died on Tuesday.

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