A small-scale miner working at Mirerani quarries in Simanjiro District, Manyara Region has been set ablaze but managed to escape death by whiskers even though he is still in critical condition.

The victim, Joel Ephata aged 34 years is reportedly to have faced the horrid incident in the night of Tuesday, the 27th of June 2017 at the Tanzanite Gemstones Mines belonging to one Mr Nickson Emmanuel who is currently being held by the Police.

The Regional Police Commander, Mr Francis Masawe confirmed the issue, saying the unfortunate quarry worker had also been beaten before being drenched in flammable liquid and set on fire under the allegations that he had stolen valuable mining equipment from the site.

The theft, according to some of the quarry employees, had occurred early this week and it seems the management wanted to squeeze out the truth from the miner regarding who exactly committed the crime at the mine.

“We are still investigating the incident and are holding in custody the mine owner as well as a couple of other workers to help us with investigations and soon we shall arraign them in court,” explained the Manyara Regional Police Commander, Mr Massawe.

The badly burnt miner, Mr Joel Ephata is being treated at a hospital in Mirerani Hills though relatives are planning to move him into a larger medical facility in Arusha City, possibly the Mount Meru Hospital or Selian Medical Center.

Apparently, he speaks with difficulties. The Mirerani Ward Councillor, Mr Thobias Obero said cases of mistreatments of Small Scale Miners and other quarry workers in Mirerani are rampant and that is is high time that the government intervened as rich mine owners are getting uncontrollable.

Mirerani Residents, Ms Edna Momo and Elizabeth Nanyaro have expressed concern on how the quarry workers keep suffering despite poor pay, lack of contracts and dangerous working conditions.

“People earn billions from Tanzanite yet they hardly pay their workers and when things go wrong, they mistreat them like this. It seems like this time they were planning to kill the poor man,” said Ms Momo.

Source: Tanzania Daily News

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