Workers bemoan rot at Hwange Colliery

HWANGE Colliery Company workers have claimed management deliberately failed to repair conveyor belts to transport coal in order to promote private transport operators with whom they have links.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

Workers’ representatives, Deliverance Nyoni and Mika Maseko almost broke down in tears on Tuesday as they narrated to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines led by Temba Mliswa how the company was allegedly being ripped off by cartels.

“Hwange Colliery Company is a straight-forward business and we find that the easiest way to transport coal is through conveyor belts, however they are now obsolete,” Nyoni said.

“In 2017, the repairs costs to those conveyor belts were said to be around $85 000, which is cheaper than the costs of hiring trucks to transport the coal. However, management was not keen on repairing the coke oven battery, yet they pour money into open cast mine which is surprising us as workers.”

Nyoni said after Hwange Colliery was placed under reconstruction, coal was being transported by trucks. He identified some of the trucking companies as Greenfuel, Colbrow and Inductosave reportedly owned by a person from Kwekwe.

“Now Hwange Colliery has been placed under reconstruction and there is Liberation Mine and Billy Rautenbach by the corner – and they are using our resources. We are saying Zimbabwe is open for business and yet this is a mockery of that statement because the company’s performance is just being crippled by people with intentions to benefit, and there is political muscle running the mine,” Nyoni said.

He said as workers they were living in fear as they were threatened by management and Shepherd Tundiya (a Hwange contractor providing transport for coal).

Mliswa assured the workers that they were protected by the Parliament Privileges and Immunity Act.