MPs grill minister over Hwange demo 

MPs grill minister over Hwange demo 

Source: MPs grill minister over Hwange demo – DailyNews Live

Blessings Mashaya      8 March 2018

HARARE – Legislators yesterday grilled Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs minister Ziyambi Ziyambi over  government’s silence on the salary
impasse at the Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL).

HCCL, in which Zimbabwe’s government is the biggest shareholder with 37
percent shares, is the nation’s second largest coal producer and supplies
coke to national electricity company Zesa.

HCCL mines coal in the northwest of Zimbabwe on some of the southern
African country’s richest coal deposits.

Spouses of HCCL workers have been camped at the company premises demanding
outstanding salaries of their husbands since January 29, exposed to the
weather elements.

The coal miner owes employees almost four years’ salaries.

HCCL creditors’ scheme of arrangement chairperson  Andy Lawson has said
there is a Scheme of Arrangement where creditors including workers have
agreed to a structured payment plan to stop its equipment being auctioned
off for failing to honour obligations and to also allow the colliery to
borrow money from banks for working capital.

HCCL claimed it has so far paid workers according to that agreement.

HCCL management is accused of acting arrogantly by refusing to meet the
striking spouses and also approaching the courts to try to force the
police to disperse the strikers.

During yesterday’s question and answer session in the National Assembly,
Hwange Central MDC MP Brian Tshuma asked Ziyambi, who is also the leader
of government business in National Assembly, what the government was doing
to solve the issue.

“The government is silent while people are suffering in Hwange what are
you doing as the government to solve the problem?”

Ziyambi said he was going to put the question to the Mines and Mining
Development minister Winston Chitando.

Chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee on Energy and Mines
Temba Mliswa said the issue now needs the intervention of President
Emmerson Mnangagwa.

“I think the minister needs to go and tell Mnangagwa to solve this issue,
we had our tour as the committee, people are suffering, children and women
are sleeping in the open and the matter need to be solved without delay.”