24 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Govt Urged to Intervene in Zanu-PF Takeover of Renco Mine

The government is being urged to intervene in the ZANU PF takeover of the Renco Mine, believed to be part of a strategy to force the company to abide by the party's indigenisation campaign.

Last week, ZANU PF's Chivi South MP Irvine Dzingirai declared he was the new manager of the mine, which has been the site of a labour dispute for several weeks. Production there had ceased last Monday after workers' wives and local villagers barricaded the main gate demanding an improvement in workers' conditions and community assistance projects.

The MDC-T spokesperson for Masvingo province, Harrison Mudzuri, confirmed on Thursday that Dzingirai has declared himself the new general manager of the mine and is refusing to give up the position. Mudzuri told SW Radio Africa that there is an appeal to the government, particularly the Labour and the Mines Ministries to intervene.

"Dzingirai is trying to threaten workers to either join ZANU PF or they will be fired. We are concerned because this is a labour dispute that is being politicised by ZANU PF," Mudzuri told SW Radio Africa.

Mudzuri added: "I spoke to Dzingirai on the phone and he told me that: 'ZANU PF are doing what we did on the farms, and we are just waiting for (Indigenisation Minister) Kasukuwere to confirm the 51% handover of the mine'."

The MDC-T spokesperson said ZANU PF is trying to use "political muscle to make sure no one intervenes." He said the labour dispute at Renco should be dealt with, without political interference.

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