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Minister fails to pay workers

by Staff reporter
07 Oct 2013 at 05:33hrs | Views
Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development Fred Moyo has appeared before the labour courts over failure to pay his INEZ Mine workers' salaries and wages over the past seven months.

In an affidavit deposed at the arbitration court of Kadoma on June 30, 147 workers employed at the mine claimed that INEZ Mine owned by Moyo has failed or neglected to pay wages and salaries since January when he took over the gold mine.

The workers are demanding $190 000 in wages excluding statutory payments and medical cover claiming that the minister deducted these from their salaries, but failed to remit the deductions.

"The amount due to workers for the period March 2013 to date is $190 000 for wages only and as for statutory deductions INEZ deducted the said statutory, but never remitted to the respective owners," read part of the application.

Moyo confirmed that he was having trouble settling workers'
wages and salaries, but put the blame on the economy which he said was performing badly.

"We are not the only mine which is struggling with its bills, even big mines are failing to pay salaries, the economy is very depressed, at times we don't have electricity and this affects production," Moyo said.

He said the falling prices of gold on the global market had not made things any better for those in the mining sector.

"Gold is now trading at $1 300 an ounce down from $1 800. That means for every ounce produced we lose $500, so we lose money and also some of the debts were inherited from the previous owners of the mine," he said.

Moyo told NewsDay he wanted to pay his workers, and to keep the mine open and if a balance was not maintained he could be forced to shut it down.

According to the National Mine Workers' Union of Zimbabwe (NMWUZ), Moyo took over the mine from its Australian owners through the indigenisation and economic empowerment regulations.

"Before he took over, mine workers used to get their salaries and we never had problems, but now things have changed, our members have been thrown into poverty," NMWUZ President Tawanda Mugwira said.

Source - newsday