A Zambian employee lost his life today in an accident at the stone crushing plant at the Zambezi Portland Cement (ZPC) company in Ndola on the Copperbelt. The worker, named Martin, was pronounced deceased at the scene of the accident on Saturday, late afternoon.
The accident takes place amid rising safety concerns at the plant, where workers complain that the new management is failing to provide adequate investment in safety checks.
"We do not feel safe working here these days, as the new management has not hired qualified personnel to safely run the machines," said one employee, who declined to be named. "Today's loss of life could have been avoided - people are outraged."
Since taking over control of ZPC, Finance Bank Chairman Rajan Mahtani has been accused of stripping the company of its operational budget. All sales of cement and crushed stone are transferred to the Zamrock Africa Ltd (Mahtani's defunct company, where Peter Kanaganayagam is Managing Director) bank account on a weekly basis, and then transferred to an account held by Finsbury Investments at Finance Bank.
The ZPC employees say that Mahtani, whose ownership of ZPC is being challenged in the courts by the Ventriglia family, has failed to place a priority on safety at the company, leading to heightened risk for accidents and injuries at the cement plant.