Gwaradzimba refuses to see SMM workers


MASVINGO – Shabanie Mashava Mines (SMM) company administrator Afaras Gwaradzimba has refused to meet the embattled company’s workers’ committee after a request to discuss salary arrears that have been outstanding for years.

The grades 1-12 workers who are owed in excess of US$19 260 since 2012 wrote a letter to the SMM Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on April 29, 2021 and sought to meet the man who has been at helm of SMM since September 6, 2004. The workers committee wanted to discuss issues to do with salary arrears between January 2009 up to date.

SMM recently offered to sell its immovable properties in form of houses and residential stands to employees it owes salaries.

The workers said that they made a last resort to meet Gwaradzimba after engagements with the latter’s juniors yielded nothing.

“Due to continuous accumulation of outstanding payment of NEC mining industry salaries from January 2009 to date, and the clarification that we are being given is unsatisfactory, we hereby request to see the SMM Administrator,” reads part of the memo.
Gwaradzimba refused the meeting through a response from SMM Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Chirundu Dhlembeu. Dhlembeu said that the meeting was being rejected because the workers committee was receiving external influence from the Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers Union (ZDAMWU) Secretary General Justice Chinhema.

Gwaradzimba said he did not have the meeting with the workers because Dhlembeu told him it was not necessary.
Dhlembeu’s response was written on May 6, 2021.

“From intelligence sources, we are reliably informed that this agenda for settlement of salary arrears from January 2009 to date is being influenced by a Mr Justice Chinhema,” reads part of Dhlembeu’s memo to Gwaradzimba.

Chinhema refuted the allegations and told The Mirror that the company is scared of its workers and are now are finding reasons to escape interaction with them.

“The communication was done by the workers’ committee. This management is now scared of its workers. They are running away from their shadows,” said Chinhema.

Dhlembeu refused to speak with The Mirror when contacted for a comment.

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