Remembering victims of the 1972 Kamandama disaster

By Mhlomuli Ncube

EVERY death has sadness laced to it, especially when that moment is a reminder of a national tragedy.

ZBC News takes a closer look at how widows of victims of the 1972 Kamandama disaster at Hwange Colliery cling to each other for emotional support.

The 1972 Kamandama disaster where 427 miners lost their lives at Hwange Colliery was a sad chapter in the history of the country’s mining industry.

The disaster left surviving spouses with emotional scars that even time has failed to heal.

However, throughout the years the widows have found a way to survive by leaning on each other for emotional support.

They have also become each other’s support pillars but somehow they are reminded of the tragedy as was the case when one of them passed on recently.

“Every time we lose one of us, it is a reminder of where we came from. It is a pain that we cannot just ignore if it’s about a Kamandama widow.”

What remains a fact though is that while some tragedies tear people apart, the Kamandama disaster brought the Colliery community together.

“We keep and look out for each other. While here we are taken back to Kamandama and are then reminded that we should always be there for each other.”

As Patrick Mafa’s 76-year-old widow, Elinah Munsaka was buried this Wednesday at Simkulube Village in the Mabale area, it was yet another reminder of the tragedy which struck 50 years ago.