SMM ejects 40 teachers

Fortyteachers working in the mining town of Mashava were last week served with notice to vacate the houses they have occupied for years, raising fears that the move might result in the closure of at least three schools.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa.

The move comes as workers at the financially troubled Shabani-Mashava Mines (SMM) – grabbed from exiled businessman Mutumwa Mawere – have appealed to Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa for payment of their outstanding salaries. Some of them are reportedly taking home $20 a month as financial problems continue to mount.

A spokesman for the affected teachers, who refused to be named for fear of victimisation, said they had no option but to approach the courts to have the eviction notices quashed.

“We have been occupying these company houses for years and we were shocked to receive the eviction notices,” he said. “What is of concern is that the mine management is no longer treating us as company workers despite the fact that we a teaching at company institutions. We are going to defy these eviction orders and we are currently making efforts to seek recourse from the courts.”

Management at the two mines refused to comment.

The workers appealed to Chinamasa to avail funding for the two mines to resume operations which might result in them being paid their outstanding salaries. They also want the government to allow Mawere back as it has failed to revive operations at the once prosperous asbestos mines.

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