President Emmerson Mnangagwa has ordered Zimplats to stop evicting hundreds of former mineworkers from company houses in Chegutu and Norton they have been occupying for many years.
The majority of the workers used to work for the Broken Hill Proprietary (BHP) Minerals Zimbabwe (Pvt) (Ltd) before it collapsed in 1999.
After taking over following the collapse of BHP, Zimplats had threatened to evict the former workers from the houses they are occupying.
Speaking in Chegutu last Friday during the ZANU PF rally ahead of the 26 March by-elections, Mnangagwa ordered Zimplats to stop the evictions. He said:
I have been informed by the provincial chairman (Cde) Mary Mliswa-Chikoka and (Chegutu West) Member of Parliament, Cde Dexter Nduna that some companies, including those that are into mining, are seeking to evict the former workers. This should stop! You are not going to evict the occupants and this cannot be argued.
I’m told that there are also many who have been occupying houses for close to 40 years paying rates but have not been given the chance to buy them.
As the Second Republic, we have made it a point that all urban householders should be given title deeds so that the properties help them and the next generations.
We cannot let people be evicted under our watch and these companies should be guided accordingly. Apart from making this firm decree that you shouldn’t be evicted; we are also going to ensure that you get title deeds.
Zimplats through its lawyers Dube, Manikai and Hwacha legal practitioners, in January this year, was granted the right to evict one Simbarashe Muza who occupied house number 24200, Umvovo, Chegutu.