By ROGERS KALERO
A 19-YEAR-OLD chrome picker of Wusakile Township in Kitwe fell into a ditch on Tuesday evening and injured his knee during the confusion which ensued when police fired non-irritant tear smoke to stop the chrome pickers from forcing their way into the Black Mountain mining area.
Copperbelt Police Commissioner Sharon Cheelo Zulu identified the youth as Michael Mwewa who fell into a ditch and injured his knee and was later taken to the Kitwe Central Hospital (KTH).
Ms Zulu said the chrome pickers decided to force their way into the Black Mountain area because management did not provide them with the materials as they were not available at the time.
“Yes, I can confirm that police in Kitwe received information of unruly youths who are chrome hand pickers at the Black Mountain who wanted to force their way into the mining area. Fortunately, quick response by Police prevented them from doing so. In the process, Police fired non-irritant tear smoke which made them to run away.
“In the process of the confusion, one Michael Mwewa aged 19 of Wusakile Township fell into a ditch and injured his right knee. The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment. The situation returned to normal as usual after the consortium management promised to provide them with materials today. The challenge has been that management was not able to provide them with the materials as they were not available at the time,’’ Ms Zulu said.
Last month, an undisclosed number of youths, mostly chrome pickers from the Black Mountain were arrested and detained after they became unruly and started damaging vehicles on the Kitwe-Ndola dual carriage-way after their colleague was crushed to death by a loaded Shacman Tipper Truck near Greek Olive in Nkana West residential area
The 18-year-old chrome picker at the Black Mountain, Lombe Joshua died on the spot after a rear left tyre of a loaded Shacman Tipper Truck ran over him when he fell from the truck which was moving from the Black Mountain to one of the identified sites for chrome pickers.