Ran Mine families face eviction

HARARE - Over 450 families are on the verge of losing their homes in Bindura after Ran Mine Limited’s new owner issued the mine’s former employees with eviction notices informing them to evacuate the compound by January 2019.

Representing aggrieved former workers, Bindura North Ward 2 councillor Ian Makone said the eviction notice is unfair to Ran Mine Compound’s residents as it defies the agreement that the workers had made with the previous employer.

Makone noted that when the mine closed sometime back, the agreement was that whoever was to take up its ownership was supposed to employ the former workers, who have outstanding salaries dating back to 1999.

“In my capacity as the councillor of ward 2, Bindura Town Council I held a meeting with residents of Ran Mine compound.

“The agenda was on the letters of eviction that have been given to families of mine workers to vacate the compound by the 31st of December 2018,” the councillor noted.

“The workers have been employed at this mine for over 20 years and have outstanding salaries that date back to 1999.

“The previous arrangement with the former employer was that whoever took up the mine’s ownership was supposed to employ them, but now they will be left homeless since the new owner wants them gone by the end of December.”

Makone suggested that if the new owner wants to remove the 455 families facing eviction, he should find them another place to stay seeing that the rainy season is approaching and they will be left homeless.

The Bindura councillor revealed that after eviction letters forcing Ran Mine residents to sign forms agreeing to the eviction were distributed, he organised a meeting which was attended by 465 people to represent the residents who do not have a union.

He noted that the meeting resolved that the company must first clear outstanding salaries on top of finding them accommodation if it intends to evict them.

Makone said he is willing to fight for the residents and hopes Bindura North member of Parliament, Kenneth Musanhi will help him ensure the residents get justice.

“At the meeting we resolved that the company must first pay all outstanding salaries to workers before evicting them, provide a descent alternative place for relocation considering that these workers have spent all their lives at the compound and properly follow the law in all their processes,” he said.

“As the councillor for all in this ward, I represent all citizens despite political affiliation and also hope that Musanhi also comes on board to defend the welfare of these workers and protect their wellbeing from abuse by the capitalist mine owners.”

“I also want to guarantee the residents that they should not live in fear as we are about to take this case to the courts, victory is certain.”

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