Freedom Mupanedemo Midlands Bureau
Shabanie Mashaba Mine Holdings has started renewing contracts for its employees, amid revelations that the new Government is eager to see the asbestos giant back in operation.
Shabanie Mine, which used to be one of the biggest employers in the Midlands province with over 2 000 workers, was closed in 2004, due to low demand of white asbestos. Government has reportedly found an investor for the revival of one of the oldest mines in the country, with electricity at the mine having been reconnected to pave way for the revival.
Zvishavane–Ngezi Member of Parliament Cde John Holder confirmed yesterday that the asbestos mining giant was set to re-open, with the new investor having already flighted a tender for the supply of the new equipment. Cde Holder, who is also a committee member of the Parliamentary portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development, said electricity at the mine was switched off in 2014.
“I am an interested party when it comes to the revival of Shabanie Mine, the oldest mine in the town, and I can confirm that the mine is set for revival,” he said. “The mine has started renewing contracts for employees and electricity was switched on recently.
“The new investor wants to start by exploring the mine’s dumb and they have already flighted tenders for the supply of equipment.” Shabanie Mine human resources manager Mrs Tinago Namatirai declined to comment when contacted yesterday.
Shabanie Mine Employees Association chairperson Mr Promise Mariba confirmed that the mine was renewing contracts of former employees, with preparatory work to revive the mine now underway.
“There is already some movement at the mine right now,” he said. “We understand there is a new investor coming in.” Meanwhile, Midlands State University has allayed fears that the resuscitation of Shabanie Mine will result in the over 3 000 students that have been using the mine’s premises being evicted. The university’s registrar Mr Erasmus Mupfiga said the institution bought most of the premises they were using from Shabanie Mine.
“The university also bought some land in Zvishavane and as we speak, engineers are on the ground surveying the ground for the construction of a lab and other structures for our Zvishavane campus,” he said. Mr Mupfiga said the resuscitation of Shabanie Mine meant a readily available industry for university students.