THE nine former Shabanie Mine workers, who were last week evicted from company houses, have been granted an interim relief against ejection by the Bulawayo High Court.
Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo last Friday granted the provisional order against eviction to the workers pending the outcome of their application to appeal in the matter.
Imbayago Chigwegwe, Lighton Sibanda, Panganai Mashanhu, Peter Bwazo, Sylvester Mbembe, Tafara Pwide, Watson Muyana, Josphat Moyo and Fanny Manomano were cited as the applicants.
Zvishavane magistrate Tavengwa Sangster, Shabanie Mine and the messenger of the Zvishavane Magistrates’ Court were cited as first, second and third respondents respectively.
The respondents were given 10 days to oppose the provisional order, failure of which the matter would be heard at the Bulawayo High Court without further notice.
“Pending the determination of this matter, applicants are granted the following relief . . . that third respondent (the messenger) be and is hereby ordered to hold over execution of the warrants of ejectment against applicants.
“That in the event that eviction would have been effected by the time that this order is issued or served, it is ordered that second (Shabanie Mine) and third (messenger) respondents restore possession of the respective properties to the applicants or those of who that may have been evicted,” reads part of the High Court order.
The workers and their families were left homeless and lived in the open for one week after management at the asbestos mine evicted them.
According to Shabanie Mine’s former workers’ association chairperson Hilton Nhidza, more than 500 workers — including pensioners and families of deceased employees — face eviction from company houses.
The workers are owed thousands of dollars in unpaid salaries backdating to 2009 when the mine started facing operational problems.