ZANU PF Chivi South legislator, Ivene Dzingirai said he was urging the government to force RioZim to sell gold produced at Renco Mine to raise money to pay annual bonuses to the disgruntled employees.
BY NDAMU SANDU
The mine is a subsidiary of RioZim, a company listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).
RioZim senior officials have been failing to get access to the mine following the January 14 disturbances which forced the gold producer to close for a week.
“They [RioZim] think we want to take the gold,” said Dzingirai. “We want government to force RioZim to sell the gold and put the money in the Renco Mine account in which the mine manager and administration manager are authorised to withdraw money and address the needs of Renco employees.”
Problems at Renco started last month after wives of workers besieged the mine saying the company had not paid their husbands’ annual bonuses last year.
On January 18, Dzingirai accompanied by Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi and Zanu PF politburo member Dzikamai Mavhaire visited the mine and addressed the disgruntled women and employees.
Mzembi is MP for the constituency.
At the meeting, it was resolved that employees should return to work which they did three days later.
In a statement last week, RioZim said Dzingirai had unlawfully assumed executive authority over the mine using “threats and intimidation to prevent legitimate access to the mine by senior management and board members”.
RioZim also accused Dzingirai of preventing the company from accessing gold bullion it had produced.
“The above occupation and actions are clearly unlawful and the company is treating them as such,” RioZim said.
Dzingirai told The Standard yesterday that he had not taken over management of the mine but was just a “technical advisor” to the community with a responsibility of ensuring the mine is operational.
“I am currently mobilising funds to ensure that the mine continues operating since RioZim has stopped supporting Renco,” the legislator said.
Dzingirai said he had been appointed to that position by virtue of his qualifications in mining and also as a former employee of Renco.
Dzingirai said he had managed to negotiate with the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority for a flexible payment plan ensuring that the mine won’t be switched off over a US$1,4 million debt.
The mine had a payment plan which it failed to adhere to.
Correspondence seen by The Standard showed that the power utility had threatened to switch off power on January 8.