Zanu PF dumps mine workers

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ZANU PF has dumped former Kamativi Tin Mine workers who are facing eviction from the mine compound for unpaid rentals to the Hwange Rural District Council amid reports that the party’s councillor was also pushing for their eviction.

RICHARD MUPONDE
SENIOR REPORTER

Over 500 families have been served with eviction orders by council’s acting Kamativi administrator Misozi Mvula effective July 21.

However, the evictions, which were scheduled for two weeks ago, were temporarily put on hold after a fight erupted between the Kamativi Residents’ Association and the Kamativi Early Settlers’ Development Organisation (Kesedo), a grouping of former mine workers.

The residents’ association is led by Timothy Mvula, a Zanu PF member and uncle of Misozi who was recently removed from Kesedo’s executive for supporting the council in the evictons war.

Although the Hwange East constituency in which Kamativi Tin Mine is situated was won by the opposition MDC-T candidate Tose Sansole, Kamativi ward voted for Zanu PF councillor Joshua Tshuma.

Misozi and her uncle Timothy could not be reached for comment as their mobile phones were unreachable while councillor Tshuma was evasive.

“I know nothing about the eviction orders,” Tshuma said.

However, the move to evict the former mine workers has attracted the ire of Sansole, who described them as senseless and inhumane.

“Those people are former mine workers who lost their jobs 20 years ago. They have no source of income and where do they want them to go?

“Instead the Hwange council should come up with a favourable plan so that these former workers pay up their rentals. It’s senseless to evict them. I will look into the matter. Those former workers won’t go anywhere,” Sansole said.

Zanu PF senator for the province and Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs minister Cain Mathema yesterday refused to comment when asked about the fate of the former mine workers.

“You want me to comment on something I don’t know about? I don’t know anything about that issue. I can’t comment,” said Mathema.

Kesedo chairperson Freeman Banda has appealed to the council to give the former mine workers time to clear their debts instead of evicting them.

“Where will these families go? Most of them are widows and are not from this country and do not have homes in rural areas. The home they have known is Kamativi. The problem is that Timothy has turned against residents and has teamed up with his niece Misozi,” said Banda.

“We have since removed him from the vice-chairmanship of Kesedo because there is now a conflict of interest. I believe his push for evictions in support of his niece is now a case of sour grapes.”

Most of the former mine workers earn their living by fishing in the crocodile-infested Kamativi Dam where a number of residents have lost their lives to the marauding reptiles.

Timothy, a former plumber at the mine before its closure 20 years ago, is one of the victims of the crocodile attacks and lost his limbs when he was attacked by a crocodile in 2008 during a fishing expedition.