HWANGE Colliery Company Limited miners’ wives, who clocked the 17th day of their protest yesterday, are calling for the removal of the mining company’s managing director Thomas Makore and human resources manager Raymond Munangwa on allegations of corruption.
By Nokuthaba Dlamini
This came after the company declared that it could only pay workers’ salary arrears starting from July.
The protesters accused Makore and Munangwa of mismanaging company resources, corruption and failure to pay workers since 2014
Thokozile Ncube, the women’s representative, said they were angered by Makore, who told them to abort their protest after they had failed to reach a consensus at a meeting on Sunday.
“We were called in on Sunday afternoon and nothing fruitful came out of that meeting. Makore said he had called us to tell us that Treasury had no money for us currently and they were going to start payments in July,” she said.
“Last week, some people received as little as $70, but the majority did not. Widows, retrenched and part-time workers never got anything and it is disheartening. We are sleeping here with no food, no toilets and it’s raining heavily, yet most of us are breastfeeding. They drive past us in expensive cars. Some well-wishers have given us food handouts, but it is not enough. Our children need to go to school, but there is no money,” another protester, Grace Mlilo, said.
Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu was served with a petition to government, which demanded all workers to be paid all their thousands of outstanding salaries by tomorrow.
Mpofu reportedly promised to give protesters feedback last Tuesday, but the women’s committee said they had not heard from him yet.
The women said they were waiting for Thursday, the deadline that they had given government to pay their husbands’ dues and if the matter was not resolved amicably, they would camp in Victoria Falls to attract global attention.
Makore could not be drawn to comment on the matter yesterday.