MDC Officials Picked Up Over Mine Strike

Zvishavane, – State security agents have picked up three Movement for Democratic Change councillors in Zvishavane, accusing them of masterminding the three week old strike at Shabanie Mine.

The security agents also distributed flyers in the town on Monday which urged the workers to end the strike.

An official in the MDC Secretary General’s office at Harvest house said the party had nothing to do with the striking Shabanie mine workers.

“We never at one point interfere with any labour issues. Who are we to say workers should go back to their work? We are not aware of the flyers you are talking about,” said the official.

A representative of the workers at the mine said they are not demanding salary increments but our salaries which the management short changed them for the past eight months.

“The management has been stealing our salaries, by paying us less that the amount printed on our payslips. We were receiving pay slips printed $100 and only to withdraw $30 from the  banks since January. We asked our banks why we were given less than what was shown on our pay slips and were told that that was the amount deposited by our employer. We will  not go back to work if we are not given our stolen salaries and we are not striking  for salary  increases as the management wants people to believe,” said a worker representative.

Shabanie mine General Manager for mining operations Mr C Zishumba, declined to comment.

“I have no comment over that issue. You can try to locate Mr Zvembeu of SMM (Shabanie Mashaba Mine) Harare but unfortunately I can not give you his number, try SMM
Harare,” said Zishumba.

Shabanie mine  was snatched away by  the Zanu PF led government in 2004 from  South Africa-based Mutumwa Mawere whom they accused of "externalizing" – taking out of the country – some US$80 million in assets from Shabanie Mashaba Mine Holdings (SMMH), and the Zimbabwean government moved to nationalise his company in 2004.

Mawere has tried to negotiate directly with Robert Mugabe to get his mine back. RadioVOP