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Eviction of Former Miners Continues in Zvishavane

Most mines owned houses for their workers

More than 130 former Shabanie Mine workers have been evicted from company houses they occupied in the Maglas section of Zvishavane, Midlands province.

Andrew Lunga, a former worker and pensioner said they were being given only 48 hours to leave but most of them were staying put as they were owed thousands of dollars in salary arrears and some benefits backdating to 2009.

Shabanie and Gaths mines, which were once the world’s sixth largest asbestos-producing entities with an annual output of more than 140,000 tonnes, at their peak employed more than 5,000 workers and supported at least 200 downstream industries.

Businessman Mutumwa Mawere used to own Shabanie Mashaba Mines until it was put under provisional liquidation following allegations that he externalized foreign currency in violation of the country's laws.

Mutumwa has denied any wrong doing. The mining firm is now under the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.

Studio 7 failed to reach the mine management for a comment as they were not responding to calls.

Lunga told Studio 7 the affected families are now selling tomatoes and other items in an effort to raise legal funds to challenge the evictions.

“The (affected) people have no money,” Lunga said, adding that "they are still waiting for their arrears in salaries and the pensioners are waiting also for their gratuity and arrears of payments.”

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