Govt stops eviction of Shabanie Mine workers
GOVERNMENT has ordered Shabanie Mashaba Mines to stop evicting former mine workers, the Daily News can report.
The 78 families which had been targeted for eviction have been occupying the company houses for the past 20 years before the mine properties were sold to Great Zimbabwe University.
The occupants included miners who have reached retirement age and widows and dependents of former workers who argued that the mine owed them salaries from 2009.
While the mine tried to move them to other properties within the mine area, these were reportedly condemned by the Health ministry and as a result, the workers took legal action against the mine.
Mines and Justice ministers Winston Chitando and Ziyambi Ziyambi, respectively, visited the mine a fortnight ago to stop the evictions.
“What was happening is that they were evicting people. We went there with the minister of Mines to appreciate what was happening on the ground.
“After we assessed the situation we said for now they must not evict the people until the issue was resolved,” said Ziyambi.
Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers Union (Zidamwu) secretary general Justice Chinhema told the Daily News that Chitando and Ziyambi announced to the miners that they had resolved the impasse and ordered the mine to stop the evictions.
“We thank the Member of Parliament (MP) Dumezweni Mawite and President Emmerson Munangagwa for intervening in the matter.
“We have been fighting management over the planned evictions and we are pleased with the intervention that has seen all evictions being stopped,” he said.
“The president sent ministers Chitando and Ziyambi to announce that the plight of the workers has reached his office and management is advised to stop all evictions.”
Chinhema added that management was also told to make sure all outstanding salaries are paid to the workers.
“We are now focusing on the payment of the outstanding salaries. We need to see the former workers getting what they worked for and we also expect to see the mine reopening and employing more people in Zvishavane.”
Shabanie Mashaba Mine used to be one of the biggest employers in the Midlands province, with over 2 000 workers before closing down in 2004 due to a number of problems.
However, the government has been working towards resuscitating the asbestos giant.
Last year in October, plans to reopen the mine were at an advanced stage.