6 February 2018

Zimbabwe: Hwange Colliery Workers' Wives Infuriated By Small Payment, Take Protests to Vic Falls

Photo: The Herald
Hwange Colliery mine in Zimbabwe.

Hwange — Colliery Company management on Monday paid workers part of their outstanding salaries but poured paraffin to already burning fire after refusing to meet the protesting spouses who had sought audience.

Managing director, Thomas Makore, and human resources manager, Raymond Munangwa, reportedly sneaked out of their offices and exited through the back door to avoid meeting with the protestors.

Unhappy and not accepting the "little" 2.6 percent payments, the protesters sought audience with management to express displeasure.

The spouses' representative Thokozile Shoko confirmed that the company paid part of the money owed to workers.

She, however, said the 2.6 percent was not acceptable, adding that protestors had now resolved to take the demonstration to another level.

"They deposited about 2.6 percent of the scheme of arrangement meaning to say some got $70 while some received $200. This is not enough as it is not what we are waiting for. Our decision is that we are now planning to demonstrate in Victoria Falls as we take our issue further," said Shoko.

"What is important is that we are not leaving this place and we will be closing the gate again because we feel they played with us."

The women who, on Tuesday, chased after Zanu-PF member Reeds Dube, Monday threatened to beat up Munangwa who they said was disrespectful and not sensitive to their plight.

They want Makore and Munangwa removed from the company.

The protestors on Friday had agreed to remove tree branches they had used to close the premises' gates after being convinced to do so by Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions president Peter Mutasa and Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu. The minister visited and told them he had been sent by President Mnangagwa to listen to their grievances.

Mpofu had promised to give the protestors feedback on Monday which he never did.

After realising that nothing was coming their way, the protectors, led by ZCTU's Mutasa, stormed Makore's office for a meeting with him and Munangwa.

Mutasa said: "Minister Mpofu is not reachable and the management also disappeared. The protestors are not accepting the 2.6 percent and have vowed to continue with the demonstration and are planning to march to Victoria Falls where they wish to get the attention of the international community."

It was not yet clear when the women will demonstrate in Victoria Falls.

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