BY NHAU MANGIRAZI/ PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
THE Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers’ Union (ZDAMWU) says the mining industry has a new coloniser, the Chinese, who are looting the country’s minerals and, therefore, stifling development.
In a statement to mark the Heroes Day yesterday, ZDAMWU secretary-general Justice Chinhema said the country’s national heroes fought for nothing as mining communities throughout the country were struggling while mineral resources were being looted.
“A mine worker today is faced with a plethora of challenges. These challenges range from the pandemic of COVID-19 which has ravaged the globe, poor working conditions, poor remuneration and general poor welfare in our mines,” Chinhema said.
“This is the month we must invoke the spirit of our long-departed fighters to fight for what we deserve. Today a mine worker is faced with another existential threat of a new coloniser in the form of Chinese miners in the name of investors supported by corrupt indigenous people in our space.”
Chinhema said mine workers would like to draw inspiration from the liberation heroes to continue fighting for their rights and interests.
“Investment must bring personal improvement, community and national development. However, that is not the case with the Chinese as well as black capitalists who are corrupt to the core, looters and criminals are enslaving us and today we are worse off. We need each other to overcome the challenges that we face as mine workers. This is a time we must speak with one voice as a sector and backbone of our economy. The middle income country by 2030 will not be successful if workers are not united towards our own liberation from the slave wages that we are earning today,” read the ZDAMWU statement.
Chinhema further said works councils for mine workers had been rendered redundant by managers who push anti-worker agendas.
“The national collective bargaining platform is captured and our friends who claim ownership are nowhere to be found,” he said.