Zimbabwe: Update on Shabanie Mine Shootings
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions Media Release, 1 October 2009
The three workers who were shot on September 25 at Shabanie Mine in Zvishavane have been trasferred to Harare so that they receive specialist treatment.
Meanwhile in Zvishavane the striking workers have been forced to go back to work after being visited by gun-toting policemen and the dreaded Central Intelligence Operatives (CIO). The state security agents together with Shabanie Mine security Officers visited workers in their homes on 29 September threatening them that if they did not return to work the following day (30 September) the workers should vacate not only the mine houses they were occupy but also get out of town. On 30 September about three-quarters of the 2 280 striking workers returned to work.
Management then immediately began holding kangaroo court hearings. Scores of workers were dismissed in the process. They were charged for:
1. absenteesim from work without leave
2. defying the General Manager's memo instructing them to return to work
3. illegal work stoppage
The workers' legal representative had earlier requested management to inform him when the hearings would take place but the Mine management declined to inform him of the date and time of the hearings. As of 30 September seven workers have been dismissed. These workers are known by management for their MDC activism as they hold posts in the MDC Youth Assembly and Ward Executive. It seems the matter has also become an issue of discrimination on political grounds. Those who are known to belong to ZANU PF have been guaranteed their jobs back.
On 30 September, the home of ZCTU Zvishavane District Secretary Ndodana Sithole was raided by Police officers. They demanded to know what action the ZCTU was planning to take. Sithole was also warned not to meet any of Shabanie Mine employees.
In September alone, the ZCTU reported 3 serious cases of violations of Freedom of Association to the Minister of Labour.
To this end, the ZCTU is pushing for a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry to look into the Shabanie and Mashava Mine incidents where workers have not been paid since January.
Khumbulani Ndlovu (Ms)
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
9th Floor Chester House
Corner Speke Ave/3rd Street
Tel 263 4 794702/42/ 263 4 702517
Cell 263 11 620 232