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Tough Going for Retrenched Zimbabwe Ethanol Workers

Hundreds of workers retrenched by a Zimbabwean ethanol-processing company early this year have told a government panel of their daily struggles to put food on the table for their families.

Green Fuel Private Limited sent home more than 4,000 workers in February after its Chisumbanje Ethanol plant in Manicaland Province, failed to sell over 10 million liters of fuel and incurred huge loses.

This after the energy ministry refused to craft a law obliging all motorists to use ethanol-blended fuel.

A cabinet committee overseeing the company's operations met with the struggling former workers during a tour Wednesday - who called on government to reopen the plant so they can start earning a living.

The committee, comprised of Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, lawmakers and state officials, was assessing the situation at the shutdown processing plant.

Some members of the Chisumbanje community said their children have since dropped out of school.

Green Fuel General Manager Graeme Smith told VOA the meeting with the cabinet committee was fruitful and relevant.
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