By Mthulisi Mathuthu
The MDC-T is calling for a ‘full inquiry’ into the circumstances which led to the closure of the state-owned Sabi Gold Mine, which has left 500 workers jobless with the company still owing them six month salaries.
A statement from the party said the inquiry should investigate how a ‘productive’ mine, which was producing $2 million worth of gold per month, had sunk. The party attributed the development to corruption and poor management adding that with no verifiable records of remittances to the treasury and with the workers having gone for such a long time without being paid it was ‘only logical to conclude that the money was looted.’
The MDC-T called on the government to ‘immediately reopen’ the mine under a new independent authority to run all state enterprises along professional lines while ensuring that parastatals start benefitting all Zimbabweans and not a few ZANU PF ‘loyalists and hangers on.’ The statement said the workers and creditors should be also paid what they are owed.
The Zvishavane-based mine closed early June after creditors attached the company’s properties. Last week workers reported that they were paid only $15 as wages. A workers committee member said the money was paid at the site as the management feared that it would be used up by bank charges if it had been dispatched through the bank.
The MDC-T senator for the Midlands province, Lillian Timveos, said the situation was desperate and ‘families are stranded.’ The senator said she has taken in some mine workers and all of them are reporting mismanagement and corruption. She added: ‘I actually went to the site some time ago and it was clear to me that people were not happy. Now with this latest development Zvishavane will be severely affected because even Shabanie Mine has also gone through the same situation.’
Last week Timveos blasted management at the Shabani Mine for evicting former workers from the company homes before paying them their exit packages and outstanding salaries. The management stopped paying workers in 2009 owing to financial and operational problems. SW Radio Africa