Ziscosteel workers go for 3 years without pay

HARARE - Ziscosteel workers have appealed to Nicholas Goche, minister of Labour and Social Welfare, to intervene and expedite payment of their outstanding salaries.

The workers, through their lawyers Matsikidze, Mucheche legal practitioners, wrote to Goche highlighting problems they were facing.

“Our clients have instructed us to inform you the prevailing labour socio-economic crisis that is affecting them and their families,” said the January 21, 2014 letter.

“The workers have gone for 38 months without salaries.

“They have not been told of their fate until today and the negotiations seem to treat the employees as passengers as opposed to participants.”

The steel producer was taken over by Indian conglomerate Essar Africa Holding Limited (Essar) in a multimillion dollar deal that saw the formation of a new company called NewZim Steel.

Ziscosteel workers’ representatives, led by Benedict Moyo, confirmed that the workers had engaged lawyers to help them get their dues.

Moyo is chairperson of Ziscosteel Joint Workers Union.

Last year, he appeared before the Parliamentary portfolio committee on Industry and Commerce together with Zisco Workers Union Representatives led by Obert Shokomhishi and briefed the committee on issues regarding resuscitation of operations at the mine.

He described their living conditions as pathetic following the closure of the company five years ago.

He told the committee how the 3 500 workers were failing to look after their families and not paying schools fees for their children.

“Kwekwe town is closing down,” Moyo said. “Ian Smith used to come to Ziscosteel to address us during the Unilateral Declaration of Independence, letting us know that we are the backbone of the economy.

“Now we wonder what is happening with our political leaders over Zisco closure. How was President Robert Mugabe allowed to visit us when there was nothing that was going to happen in terms of reopening the mine?"

“We feel that the responsible ministers are playing politics of Zanu PF and MDC at our expense.”

Mike Bimha, the minister of Industry and Commerce, whose portfolio is responsible for Ziscosteel has made countless promises to the workers, but none of them have been fulfilled.

During its peak, Ziscosteel employed 5 000 people and was a major producer of iron-ore and steel products, exporting thousands of tonnes of its steel products on the continent and European markets.

Moyo said the workers were left with no option but to approach the president’s office to intervene so that they may get their salaries.

Comments (4)

This is so pathetic everyone is suffering especially the girl child they have resorted to prostitution.At first aiuya nekanyama vabereki vopenga kuti aiwana kupi.Now it's like vakutotarisira kuti mwanasikana wavo achauya nekausavi .zvakaoma uyu mwanakomana kuba vabereki no longer ask kuti zvinhu watorepi. Isuwo vemabhisimusi totovhara because of zisco.please may the authorities do they meetings ku zisco not kuharare for progress sake vachiona zvazviri

Proprietor - 30 January 2014

mapoliticians asaita zvokutamba nehupenyu rwavanhu kusvika pakadai nyika inoita seisina mufudzi kusaziva kuti Zisco ikamuka macompany akawanda achamuka asi kungongwarira kuzadza homwe dzavo zvinonyadzisa mhani nyaraivo

mafirakureva - 31 January 2014

Don't you know that whatever ZANU PF touches dies. Ndeyeropaka iyi.There are people who are willing to invest and get the mine going. But who in his/her right mind will invest knowing that he/she will have 49% controlling stake of the investment.The gvt can takeover but the mine will end up like the majority of quasi-governmental institutions , run down through corruption.

jaku - 31 January 2014

They will never do anything these politicians. they are the biggest dubes and the muchecheteres. mpofu who was minister then is now owning banks and the whole of Hwange please zisco workers zim was worse in 2008 and you know what we did as zimbabweans why not do it than continue to be held at ransom by greedy politicians. Imagine in the budget the president's office was allocated more than what ministry of Agriculture and industry was given so do you think the mind set up there is for the poor. its for themselves. They give the President 's office so that the president give those that belong to them, period

frank - 31 January 2014

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