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HomeNewsBetterbrands Invade Redwing Mine Processing Plant   

Betterbrands Invade Redwing Mine Processing Plant   

MUTARE- Betterbrands security personnel broke locks at the Redwing Mine’s processing plant and are denying workers access to gold ores in the reduction unit, in latest development at Metallon Gold’s unit in Penhalonga.

Investigations conducted by this publication on the ground indicate that on Thursday 17 February, in an escalation of clashes between mine workers, artisanal miners and the security of Scott Sakupwanya’s mining company.

Betterbrands presence at Redwing under a Tributary Agreement controvesially facilitated by the interim corporate rescue practioner (ICRP) Knowledge Hofisi is already under challenege from workers who now report that they have been barred altogether from the processing plant.

Chairman of the committee Phanuel Mukadiwei sent a distress call that Betterbrands has locked out the mine workers from the plant after forcibly gaining entry into the reduction plant.

The plant houses gold body reserves consisting of six fine ore bins with each carrying about 20 tractor loads, as well as unquantified debris and spillage that translate to remarkable gold quantities.

He said the illegal invasion threatens livelihoods of workers salaries, payment of utility and services bills, and social amenities for their community at large

“This current developments are all because of a secret tribute agreement which basically leaves out workers welfare because of the conditions given by the ICRP. It’s more like a lease agreement without factoring concerns of us as major creditors that applied for care and mantainance.

“What happens with the proceeds we are not aware as workers. Our kids cannot go to schools in town if since the company buss that ferries children does not get fuel, we don’t have any other source.

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“We still have social needs for the workers, fees for the water treatment plant, medical needs for chronic illness for workers that need to be catered for.

“Workers have been sustaining needs of staff, buying deseil for school run for the children, and ensuring that the clinic is furnished. Aqcusition of drugs, social assistance during funerals since workers were on policies that have since elapsed.

“These bill were catered for us through this plant but Betterbrands is failing to foot the bills, or pay contactors, or ex workers and retirees,” said Mukadiwei.

Secretary general of the workers committee Friday Sokisi said they are being harrased by former committee members for siding with rest of the workers body in resisting Betterbrands operations.

He added that the illegal siezure of the processing plant will result in short supplies of water to thousands of households in Old West, Redwing and Liverpool residential units and also operations at the siezed complex yard.

“We understand that some of their anger because as workers we are clear that we want to operationalise out own interim plan with artisanal miners.

“As the our legal team and the ICRPM look for and engage a investor to proceed with mining activities we are capable to mine ourselves.

“We have tasked our legal Gumbo to translate out demands in an actionable legal recourse for the finalisation of the matter in a letter,” said Sokisi.

Recently the workers committee chair Mukadiwei was summoned by Betterbrands mine manager Guyo, under the guise of advice that some workers were under police watch repotted by co workers for violent behavior.

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Mukadiwei however said even artisanal miners are resisting BB on the pretext of current contestations leading to sponsors shying away from the Betterbrands deal deemed to be unsustainable.

“We previously had the Prime Royal agreement which was above the board as workers (artisanal miners) would get registered through the HR department. These operations cannot be legal because they are just pocketing profits.

“We are not even surprised when they use devide and rule tactics, one wonders why the names were given to Guyo. I already have a constituency that l represent, so we just await the police if there is any action around the matter.

“We have not committed any crime and we are going to fight it to the end because we got into the TA on advice but we have continued to suffer. We will not rest until we get relief and our issues are resolved,” he said.

A worker was recently fined ZWL $2000 for falsefied assult reports made by a former committee member and was assulted while under police custody. The identity of the worker remains secret, as he explores his legal options but the Admission of Guilt form for his assult charge has been seen by the publication.

Assistant Inspector Milton Karumbidza is Officer in Charge at Penhalonga ZRP police post, where officials are allegedly abusing authority in a coordinated and ochastrated assult on current committee members.

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