MASVINGO — Zanu PF Chivi South legislator Irvine Dzingirai has declared himself the new owner of troubled Renco Mine.
Report by Tatenda Chitagu Own Correspondent
Dzingirai confirmed his take-over of the mine last Friday, claiming he was doing so as part of his party’s indigenisation policy.
Production at Renco Mine ceased last Monday after workers’ wives and villagers barricaded the main gate demanding an improvement in workers’ conditions and community help projects.
“Yes, I have taken over Renco Mine as we speak. I am the new general manager. I am at the mine right now,” Dzingirai told NewsDay.
“I just took over the mine. There were no talks.
“In fact, there is no more time for talks as the mine failed to pay workers their bonuses and there is no money at the pension fund, even though that money was deducted from the workers’ salaries.”
Renco Mine manager Suprene Kachisa refused to comment citing the company’s protocol and referred all questions to managing director Ashton Ndlovu who is based in Harare.
But Ndlovu said he was in a meeting and did not respond to written questions he had demanded, by the time of going to print. But some of the disgruntled workers’ wives accused Dzingirai of hijacking their strike for political gains.
“Ours was a genuine strike. It was an apolitical protest comprising workers’ wives and villagers who support either Zanu PF or MDC,” said a villager who requested anonymity.
“But we were surprised when Dzingirai came from nowhere and said he is now the new owner.
“What also baffled us is that he came all the way from Chivi to grab the mine. We cannot be used as political pawns like that.”
Dzingirai vowed to stay put at the mine, saying he had the capacity to run it.
“I have a long history in mining. In fact, I have a diploma in mining and so the mine will be as viable as it used to be. I will be paying the workers competitive wages,” he added.