Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Government should seek investors for Shabani Mashaba Mines or return its ownership to Mr Mutumwa Mawere as part of measures to resume operations, parliamentarians in the National Assembly said on Thursday.
The legislators said this while contributing to a motion moved by Zvishavane — Ngezi representative Cde John Holder on the plight of the former workers of the mine.
Buhera South representative Cde Joseph Chinotimba, said Government should consider giving the mine back to Mr Mawere.
“We should return the assets so that he can resuscitate the mine. We should forgive him for whatever he did because as a nation we are a forgiving nation that is why we forgave Ian Smith despite his killing of thousands of Zimbabweans.
“I hope the Vice President (Emmerson Mnangagwa), who is here should take the matter up with Cabinet,” Cde Chinotimba said.
Cde Holder said the mine had collapsed despite Government’s intentions to resuscitate it.
“An indigenous Zimbabwean had purchased this mine now it’s dead, the infrastructure and houses are going down and the workers have not been paid,” Cde Holder said.
“Government gave the mine to the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, but it has no capacity to run that mine. Government should look for serious investors because when it was taken over it (SMM) had debts but they were running and were able to pay off some these debts and contribute to the GDP.
“Since it was put under reconstruction together with its 26 subsidiaries and all of them have been stripped and sold.”
He added resuscitating the mine would not only benefit the residents of Mashava but Zimbabwe as a whole.
“Mutumwa Mawere was born in Gutu and there was no talk of the indigenisation (policy) there.
“We need to resuscitate SMM so that it not only benefits people from Zvishavane and Mashava but Zimbabwe as a whole,” Cde Holder said.
Southerton representative Mr Gift Chimanikire, said the closure of the mine had resulted in an increase in social decadence.
“What is happening at SMM and Mashaba Mine is a tragedy. The social decadence is tragic. The issues of child marriages are common as parents had to marry off their daughters to subsist,” Mr Chimanikire said.
He added that the ZMDC could not run the mine.
“ZMDC has a number of mines but none of them are running profitably,” he said. “What is important is the social welfare of the residents of SMM and Government should review its decision to pack SMM and Mashaba under ZMDC.”
Uzumba legislator Cde Simbaneuta Mudarikwa, said it was necessary to recall former workers and managers to resuscitate operations of the mines.
Government put SMM under reconstruction after it accumulated huge debt but the company has failed to resume operations and has been put under the ZMDC.