THE new owners of Venice Mine in Kadoma last week roped in police to flush out former workers, who had refused to vacate the mine houses claiming they were part of their retrenchment benefits.
By Nhau Mangirazi
The former workers had continued to stay in the company houses following the departure of their employer, Falcon Gold, in the 1990s. They refused to move out of the houses after the new mine owner, Abminprint, brought in its staff leading to clashes last week.
Abminprint chief security officer Raston Madzimbo, however, said his company was not targeting the former workers without cause.
“It is true that we called police to assist us in evicting some criminal elements within the community. These are people using violence as part of survival, among them illegal gold miners. They go around with knives, they are just criminals,” Madzimbo said.
The disgruntled former workers accused their former employer of shifting goal posts after they initially promised them the houses as part of retrenchment compensation.
Doubt Masaga, a representative of the former workers, said the homes and disused mines were rightly theirs because they were owed by their former employer who sold the company.
“As former workers and members of Zanu PF youth we are advocating that the new mine owners take care of the former workers and their dependents so that they are not thrown out into destitution, but rather they be given mining rights so that they too can to use mines and earn a living,” former mine workers’ representative Doubt Masaga, said.
Another former employee, Dickson Phiri added: “There is uncertainty for majority of former workers and their dependents as new owners have not been helpful but rather want to evict us and victimising us since we do not have financial muscle to fight them through legal means.”