Parliament to summon Shabanie mine patrons

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FORMER Shabanie Mashava Mine employees who are still occupying company houses in Zvishavane are living in squalid conditions and forced to collect drinking water in communal toilets.

The asbestos mine shut down in 2004 and former employees have been resisting eviction to pave way for new tenants.

Pouring out their grievance to the parliamentary portfolio committee on mines and energy which toured the mine and its facilities on Thursday, the former workers appealed asked the parliamentarians to facilitate the transfer of ownership of the houses to them.

“We want the mine authorities to hand over the title deeds of the houses we are currently occupying to us,” said one of the former workers.

“We are owed a lot of money and previous attempts to get that money have not yielded any results”.

The former employees last received their benefits in 2008.

Mine authorities have been evicting former employees to pave way for Midlands State University (MSU) students following the establishment of a satellite campus in the mining town.

The former employees said they fear an outbreak of water borne diseases due to over-crowding in the mine houses.

“Our toilets are in a deplorable state and at any time diseases can break out and wipe out a lot of people,” another former employee said.

Residents at the mine compounds are still using communal toilets which reportedly go for weeks without being cleaned.

The former employees also dismissed as a political gimmick claims that the asbestos mine is set to be reopened.

Addressing the former employees, chairperson of the committee, Themba Mliswa, said they will take up the workers` grievances to parliament and summon those who are in charge of running the affairs of the mine.