KADOMA — There were fireworks at the disputed gold-rich Tolrose Mine on Monday when management and thugs allegedly hired by First Lady Grace Mugabe’s son, Russell Goreraza, allegedly disrupted a workers’ meeting, assaulting the National Mine Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (NMUZ) president Tinashe Mugwira.
Goreraza forcefully took over the mine from its previous owner Jameson Rushwaya in October and made promises that he would pay workers’ outstanding salaries saying Rushwaya was not paying them.
However, workers accused Goreraza of failing to fulfill his promise and downed tools on Monday and requested to be addressed by the NMUZ leader.
Mugwira alleges that it was during his address at the mine that one suspect identified only as Marufu in the company of 10 Zanu PF youths attacked him.
“They accused me of undermining the authority of Goreraza and his management and blamed the union of influencing workers to go on strike so that Rushwaya retakes the mine.”
A report was made at Eiffel Flats Police Station (Ref: OB 4620/13) and Mugwira was referred to hospital for medical examination.
“The patient had been assaulted with fists on the face and sustained pain. Please treat the patient, assess degree of injury and produce exhibit as possible (sic),” the police request for a medical report reads.
The mine’s human resources manager Nyasha Munangwa denied the allegations that they were not paying workers and also distanced Marufu from the assault.
“The allegations that we are not paying workers are false and are being pushed by people with an agenda,” Munangwa said.
“When we inherited the mine, it had its own financial problems and to expect those to end in a few months will be unfair. But for the past two months, we have paid workers without fail.
“Marufu is a very professional man and would not go around assaulting legitimate labour union members going about their business.”
But Mugwira insisted that Marufu assaulted him and injured his eye in the process.
“He attacked me after we attempted to address the issue of the stripping of mine assets and poor working and safety conditions which have become the order of operations at the mine,” Mugwira said.