Responding to questions in Parliament, Minister of Labour, Petronella Kagonye claimed that the strike by the wives of Hwange Colliery Company workers was a political issue and not a labour one. The women have been protesting for almost 100 days demanding the back pay owed to their husbands amounting to at least $70 million. Said Kagonye,
I went to Hwange and initially, I thought that it was a labour issue and employees raised 27 issues and we came up with an agreement signed by all parties, and, to date, the management is living up to what they promised.
But, as for the spouses, it is now a political issue because there are politicians that came and addressed the women and HCC employees are actually surprised that the women are still picketing, and they said there are people sponsoring the demonstrations and are supplying one beast per week to the women