By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
10 June 2014
The MDC-T has condemned as illegal and inhumane the eviction of families of four former employees of Shabanie Mine from their homes.
Last year, a Bulawayo judge halted the evictions after nine former mine workers appealed the move to eject them from the company homes before paying them their dues in exit packages and outstanding salaries.
The mine authorities stopped paying its workers in 2009 when it started experiencing operational problems.
Shabanie Mine says the former workers should move out, and make way for the company’s current employees.
The MDC-T Senator for the Midlands Province, Lilian Timveos, described the evictions at the Zvishavane-based mine as illegal and inhumane.
She said it was shocking that the mine authorities had decided to resume the evictions in defiance of the high court order.
“The fate of Shabanie Mine is being discussed at the highest levels of government, where several cases are pending. The revival of the mine and settlement of debts is of paramount importance, in terms of publicly stated government policy.
“It is therefore criminal and shameful for the local mine management to go against stated government policy, which is restoration of the mine with all existing workers being sent back to their jobs.
“We have been horrified to learn that four workers have been evicted in the latest round of this brutal operation, which is targeting 500 workers,” Timveos said in a statement issued Monday.
In an interview with SW Radio Africa on Tuesday Timveos said she was saddened that the former workers had been rendered homeless “in the middle of winter”.
“Some of them have little children and it is cruel and inhumane of their former employer to eject them before even paying what it owes to these workers.”
The MDC-T Senator said authorities at the mine had also been subjecting the former employees to other forms of harassment in a bid to eject them.
“In some cases doors have been removed from the houses, thereby exposing the families to cold weather and leaving them vulnerable to potential thieves.
“I am in the process of compiling a report that I will present to Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa to look into as this should not be allowed to happen,” Timveos added.
Senator Timveos’ statement