THE National Mine Workers’ Union has accused Deputy Mines minister Fred Moyo of running down Inez Mine just two years after he assumed control of the Mhondoro-Ngezi-based gold mine from its Australian former owners.
Union president Tinashe Mugwira said the mine, which at its peak employed over 300 full-time miners and produced about 12kg of gold per year, was now a pale shadow of its former self with hardly any production taking place.
Mugwira said when he toured the mine last weekend, his heart bled on realising that it had been taken over by illegal gold panners.
“You would expect the Minister of Mines to lead by example and show the rest how mines are run, but in just two years, this establishment has been reduced to a shell. All workers are now seated at home and have not received salaries in almost 15 months,” Mugwira said.
In March last year, workers won a $149 000 labour arbitration award against Inez Mine, but have not yet executed it
because the company was now just a shell.
Although Moyo could not be reached for comment yesterday, his mine manager identified as Martin Mukungulushi said they were seized with the matter and currently scouting for investors to bail out the floundering mine.
Mukungulushi said most equipment at the comatose mine had been vandalised.
“Just to start basic operations, we need $250 000, but due to the extent of vandalism of plant equipment and the fact that some of it has been lying idle for a long time, much more money will be needed to open all operations,” Mukungulushi said.
Former workers’ committee chairman Webster Mhuru confirmed the invasion of the mine by the panners whom he described as rowdy.