Zambian President Edgar Lungu has turned a deaf ear to calls for the Minister of Mines Richard Musukwa to be fired after a mining tragedy. Picture: Reuters/Rogan Ward

Johannesburg – Zambian President and leader of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party Edgar Lungu, has turned a deaf ear to calls for the Minister of Mines Richard Musukwa to be fired following Wednesday’s mining tragedy when at least 10 miners were buried alive after the collapse of a mine dump in Zambia's second-largest city and copperbelt mining hub Kitwe.

The Zambian Observer reported that just a day prior to the tragedy, Musukwa had declared the infamous black mountain safe.

During an intelligence briefing, Lungu was informed that the disaster was partly the fault of the miners themselves, in addition to other factors.

He was advised, however, that all mining on the black mountain must be abandoned and all activities suspended.

But Lungu won’t suspend activities on the mine dump because Lebanese national Shawi Fawz, who pumped millions into the PF party during the last elections, wants to continue mining there.

The president has also said it’s a personal decision to be made by the miners if they want to continue prospecting on the mine.

He is considering calling for an emergency cabinet meeting over the issue and declaring two days of official mourning.

African News Agency (ANA)