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Ex-employees sue Hwange Colliery

By Mathew Masinge

Hwange Colliery Company has been dragged to court by its former employees after the company threatened an imminent eviction process against them.

Part of the infrastructure at Hwange Colliery
Part of the infrastructure at Hwange Colliery

According to the application, the mining company had entered into a scheme of arrangement to pay at least 16 ex-workers after they got a US$1 261 173, 12 arbitral award in 2014.

However, the company is accused of breaching the agreement which required them to pay a first instalment of US$200 000 before settling the remainder of US$871 263, 17 in twelve months’ instalments.

“However, the Respondent (Hwange Colliery Company) from the beginning breached the deed of settlement by failing to pay the first instalment as agreed and accordingly the Applicants’ hereto gave the Respondent notice in terms of the deed of settlement.

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“Furthermore, the Respondent was given further notices and further indulges but failed to remedy its breach.

“The Applicants therefore remain entitled to the US$1 261 173, 12 in terms of the registered arbitral award, less what Respondent has paid to date,” disposed the ex-workers in an affidavit.”

Hwange Colliery Company is said to have entered into a joint scheme with its debtors and ex-workers in which it sought to pay the amounts due over an extended period.

Now, the mining company claims they have paid up their ex-workers’ claims in full and expect them to vacate company’s houses.

“However, the respondent on 30th of October, wrote to the applicants alleging that it now wished them to vacate the company houses which in terms of the deed of settlement they are to do so only on receipt of the full amounts owed,” reads the application.

The ex-workers have now approached the High Court for relief saying they face imminent eviction and prejudice in an alleged breach of their deed of settlement.

The matter is still before the courts. H-Metro