Mines company in bid to evict teachers

The struggling Shabanie Mashava Mines, which was grabbed from exiled Zimbabwean businessman Mutumwa Mawere by the government in 2004, is trying to evict 33 teachers. The teachers work at the mine schools and live in company houses. The company has taken them to court, saying that they have no contract with them.

The 33 are contesting the matter. According to documents made available, the teachers moved into the houses because of financial constraints. They were allowed to occupy the houses by the mines’ amenities department as it sought to bring in revenue to the troubled company.

However, in a court application to be heard on February 4, the mine – through one of its managers, Wilson Museva – is arguing that the teachers are living in private homes they want to allocate to workers.

Museva says that, although the teachers are teaching at Gaths Mine, Temeraire and King Mine schools owned by SMM, they are employees of the government and not the mine.

The teachers claim the houses were sublet to them by other people and so the mine has no basis for eviction.

SMM is currently embroiled in a legal battle with its entire workforce over the occupation of company houses. The company, which is facing serious financial challenges, wants its workers who were sent on forced leave to vacate company houses.

Many workers, however, are owed huge sums of money in salary arrears and are holding on to their homes until they receive the pay owed to them.

Recently, it took the intervention of Zanu (PF) officials to end industrial action at the company when workers took to the streets demanding their outstanding salaries.

Mawere has since filed a court application at the constitutional court in a bid to regain his lost business empire.

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