WASHINGTON DC —
About 34 families are facing eviction in Zvishavane where they used to work for the collapsed Shabanie Mashaba Mines once owned by businessman Mutumwa Mawere.
Former Shabanie mine worker, Alois Zhou, told VOA Studio 7 the families being evicted are paving the way for lecturers from the Midlands State University.
Zhou said, “We are told that there are some lecturers from that university that will be moved to this place very soon and therefore former workers are being evicted from houses they have occupied for many years.
“What worries us is that these people will be stranded. They have nowhere to go as all of them know this place as their only home. We know that there is a High Court ruling ordering these people to leave but we believe that this is unfair.”
A senior worker at the mine, who only identified herself as Tupwani, said she was not aware of the evictions. She referred all questions to top mine management.
Shabanie and Gaths mines were once the world’s sixth largest asbestos-producing entities with an annual output of more than 140,000 tonnes.
The fallen mining giant, which was once under judicial management before being taken over by the state-controlled Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, at its peak employed more than 5,000 workers and supported at least 200 downstream industries.
A few years ago, government moved in following accusations that the then owner, Mawere, was externalizing funds without state approval.