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MINERS are notorious for painting the “town red” whenever they happen to have a financial windfall.

They have just had another windfall after Mopani Copper Mines paid them the second instalments of their accrued benefits.

President of the Mineworkers Union of Zambia, Mr Joseph Chewe, said the benefits given to the workers as second installments are those accrued up to July 31, 2021.

We are glad that the MUZ chief, well aware of how some miners behave has issued an appropriate warning to his members.

Mr Chewe’s plea is that the miners must ensure that they invest the money they have been paid as part of their retirement so that their families do not suffer.

The temptations to be extravagant are real under the premise that there will be another payment as alluded to by Mr Chewe.

He said the workers now await the benefits that have started accruing beginning August 1, 2021.

The miners were paid after the state released US$15 million after a series of protests by the miners over delayed payments.

There have been reports in the past of how some miners, after being paid their terminal benefits suddenly desert their famiies and literary move into lodges with girlfriends.

In the process, their children suffer, with most forced to drop out of school because they are unable to meet some of the costs relating to school fees.

The children often times turn to crime and other anti-social activities as they are unable to cope with the abrupt disruptions in their otherwise stable lives.

The miners only return to their senses when all the benefits have been squandered living the high life.  Most end up as destitutes.

Mr Chewe is therefore right to advise his members to take care of the money they have been given.

Some might argue that it is their money and they have every right to spend it as they wish.

While that is true, their union, as explained by Mr Chewe also has a responsibility to ensure that their members do not misuse their money.

He is right  that they invest the money properly especially those who have a few years before retirement to avoid rendering their families destitute.

“Let’s ensure that the money is invested properly because it’s part of the benefits especially those who are past 50 years and will be retiring in four, five years,” Mr Chewe said.

This is the right time they should ensure they acquire smallholdings and start developing them while they are still in service as opposed to doing so when they retire.

They will find that it is to their benefit that they do this than wait until retirement as they are likely to be other pressing needs to meet.

Like Mr. Chewe, we also implore the workers against borrowing for consumption to avoid being exploited by some lending institutions that do not have flexible rates.

The bottom line is that they must look after the money now so that it takes care of them in future.

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