23 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Renco Mine Workers Told to Return to Work

Photo: This is Africa
Digging deep.

Masvingo — RENCO Mine management and workers in Masvingo have been asked to return to work.

In an interview yesterday, Masvingo South legislator Cde Walter Mzembi said the workers should focus on production.

Close to 800 disgruntled wives of RioZim's Renco Mine workers in Masvingo last week took to the streets demanding their husbands' annual bonuses.

The women were also demanding better working conditions for their spouses.

Cde Mzembi said production should be allowed to resume while issues to do with salary increase and takeover are left for boardroom discussions.

Villagers from Chief Nyajena's area are demanding a 100 percent stake in the RioZim-owned mine.

Cde Mzembi addressed the villagers and workers on Saturday.

"We agreed that production had to continue while some boardroom issues are resolved. We don't want to lose an ounce of production at the mine because of boardroom issues.

"The issues of workers' salaries and takeover are boardroom matters which must not disturb production at the mine," he said.

He said the community should appreciate that the mine belonged to them.

"The mine belongs to the community and the shareholding matrix would be addressed in due course."

The Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister said the villagers should not worry about owning a stake in the mine.

"Hatingazviguri makumbo kunge gurwe isu tichida kufamba (we cannot stop production yet we depend on it). The shareholding issue will be resolved in the best way possible," he said.

Minister Mzembi said he would seek Government intervention.

"We want to revisit the transformation from RioTinto to RioZim. There is a need to investigate the 'bleeding' of the group leading to entry of present shareholder and transactions that have been taking place over the last eight months since their takeover," he said.

Minister Mzembi said Government would also investigate if the company is in compliance with Zimbabwe's indigenisation laws.

"Government's point of entry is a compliance investigation to our laws and to establish whether fresh capital giving management control to parties has really been put forward.

"We would also investigate allegations of side marketing of product, asset stripping, Labour Act violations and workforce motivation," he said.

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