HomeEditorial CommentSabi Mine workers deserve better

Sabi Mine workers deserve better

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The manner in which Sabi Gold Mine in Zvishavane ceased operations, throwing over 500 workers out of employment is disconcerting.

Sabi Mine is a subsidiary of the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), a government entity, which collapsed under the weight of debts and what workers claimed was mismanagement.

The mine at the time of its closure early this month, had come under siege from creditors who were making a beeline to attach property to recover debts.

Management it appears was not prepared for the developments and in the end had to send workers packing with only $15 as their salaries after they had gone for six months without pay.

There are reports that the mine owes creditors over $20 million and in such a scenario there is no hope that the workers would get their outstanding salaries.

The reality is that the workers and their families have been thrown into destitution.

Sabi Mine employees are likely to suffer the same fate as those of Shabani and Mashaba Mines who have gone for years without pay after the mines were seized by the government.

Workers contend that Sabi Mine was highly productive with the MDC-T senator for the Midlands Province, Lilian Timveos, claiming at the time of its closure the mine produced 30kg, of gold, valued at close to $2 million.

There would be questions as to how such a highly productive gold mine would collapse just like that.

However, Zimbabwe’s history is littered with instances of highly profitable State enterprises that have collapsed unexpectedly and in most cases corruption and mismanagement have been found to be at the core of business failures.

The answers may not be easy to decipher, but what is important at this stage is that the government should ensure mine workers are paid their salaries for them to plan their future.

Already there are reports that the workers are living under deplorable conditions and authorities must address this as a matter of urgency.

ZMDC has to set a better example to other miners as a government body.

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