By Nhau Mangirazi
CHINHOYI– Zimbabwe Diamonds Workers Union secretary general Justice Chinhema has accused Chinese of fuelling corruption in the mines sector.
Reacting to Mail and Telegraph exposure of environmental threat in Zvimba where two Chinese companies are mining chrome, Chinhema charged the so-called investors are ‘benefiting from underhand dealings implicating senior National Employment Council, NEC, officials.
He claimed that there is ‘unprofessional conduct, corruption and underhand dealings by mostly NEC giving Chinese ‘first class citizen treatment,’.
Chinhema said, “We have discovered that dirty money exchanging is hands between NEC officers and Chinese. There is deep rooted corruption between these two groups affecting mining sector and Government will never get tax from these companies.”
He claimed that their investigations exposed Chinese run mines that include Decolux in Sutton, Zvimba, San he and Kherai in Guruve as well as UMC in Mutorashanga.
“These are part of several chrome mining Chinese companies that have gone to bed with NEC officials in the mining sector,” said Chinhema in a written statement.
Chinhema added that some mines involved in underhand dealings are mining gold as well. He castigated NEC officials who besides being mining industry regulating authority are failing to protect workers.
“Associated Mine Workers Union and ZDWUZ have lost faith as our members have not been assisted by NEC as they NEC grants ‘exemptions’ to Chinese miners so that they cannot pay what is due to their workers and Government tax when it is due.
“This is corruption and exploitation of highest order in an independent country. Workers are no longer paid overtime worked as well as minimum wage as negotiated on behalf of workers by unions,” he added.
Chinhema said majority of mine workers are paid between $5 and $7 per day working from 6am till 6 pm with no protective clothing.
“Exemption issued in 2016 have not been reviewed till this year. What is so special about Chinese run mines?” said Chinhema.
“NEC officers in mining industry are conniving to cheat and steal from hard working mine workers,” charged Chinhema.
Chinhema added that NEC officials are paid ‘as little as USD$30 by Chinese management so that they do not follow laid down procedures.
“This is not helping the mining sector. We call upon Government to revisit the mining rights offered to mostly Chinese run mines. They are not adding value in the sector,” added Chinhema.