17 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Renco Miners' Wives Vow to Continue Demo

Photo: This is Africa
Digging deep.

The impasse at Renco Mine in Masvingo continued yesterday as the wives of miners at the gold producer vowed to continue with their demonstration until legislator Engineer Walter Mzembi addressed them.

The close to 800 disgruntled wives of the RioZim-owned mine workers on Monday brought operations to a halt when they took to the streets demanding their husbands' annual bonuses and better working conditions.

The women blocked their spouses and the police from passing through the gates.

They also reportedly organised a night vigil and vowed to disperse only after their husbands got their bonuses and if the mine management addressed them.

The general manager at the mine, Mr Siprien Kachisa, yesterday claimed that the protest was a "smear campaign" carried out by members of the Chief Ndanga community, out to discredit the management of the mine.

"This is a ploy to discredit the management," he said.

"Eng Mzembi is aware of the developments taking place here.

"The workers at the mine are getting more than the NEC-stipulated salaries as opposed to the US$180 they claim they are getting.

"Besides we are producing 50 kilogrammes of gold not the 70 they are claiming," he said.

However, mine workers' committee chairperson Mr Vincent Matiza defended the women.

"They are bona fide wives of mine workers," he said.

Other workers who refused to be named for fear of victimisation also corroborated that the protestors were spouses of the workers.

Mine workers' wives union leader Mrs Doreen Madzora said the women were not going to end their demonstration until Eng Mzembi addressed them.

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