via Diamond union claims firms bribed newspaper – The Zimbabwean 5 June 2015
The Zimbabwe Diamond Mine Workers Union (ZMDWU) has slammed the state-controlled Sunday Mail for politicising the strike currently rocking the country.
The union hit out at the newspaper for publishing “malicious falsehoods fabricated from the figment of their own imaginations” by attempting to portray the strikes as sponsored by the west.
The newspaper claimed in its May 17, 2015 edition, that there is a “plot hinged on a regime change template that tries to trigger revolts from economic malaise.” Ironically, Zanu (PF) in its 2013 election manifesto promised to revive the industrial sector and create 2,2 million jobs if voted into power. But close to a million jobs have been lost since the disputed polls – plunging the country into an economic crisis.
Parastatals rocked by corruption and industries ham-strung by ill-advised government policies such as the indigenisation law are battling to stay afloat and even to pay workers. This has sparked a widespread industrial action by workers of the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), Mbada Diamonds and Green Fuel, who had gone for seven to nine months without pay.
Zanu (PF) failure
The state propaganda machinery, heavily controlled by the Minister of Information Jonathan Moyo, made frantic efforts to blame Western states for Zanu (PF’s) failure to bring about the promised economic transformation.
ZDMWU, which has been representing diamond workers who were unfairly dismissed by Mbada, a company linked to a number of Zanu (PF) stalwarts, was caught up in the brawl.
The state mouthpiece alleged that workers in the diamond industry were making a noise with a view of capturing media attention and portraying an adverse image of the sector. “They claimed this was proof of a western hand being used to damage Zimbabwe’s reputation portraying us as part of a sinister western sponsored agenda to discredit Marange diamonds as conflict germs, ahead of the Kimberly Process lnternational meeting in Angola next month,” said a spokesperson for the union. “We also find insinuations by the Sunday Mail through its reporters, who have demonstrated questionable ethical conduct, that our union had a hand in recent strikes embarked on by Mbada Diamond workers, as deplorable to say the least.
“It is our firm belief that true journalistic enterprise involves, among other things, balance and the right for one to represent their side of the story. feel greatly disturbed when national papers rush to publish such blatant lies without even investigating the facts on the ground or bothering to give us the right to present our side,” ZDMWU hit back.
The newly-formed union that has earned the respect of the majority of workers in the diamond industry said there was no way they could be considered an appendage of Western governments as they are affiliated to the revolutionary labour movement, Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU).
They said no amount of fabricated state journalism “persuaded by khaki envelopes” would deter them from exposing corrupt and unfair labour practices perpetuated in Chiadzwa.
Recently, the ZFTU, which is an appendage of Zanu (PF), said they had proof of party stalwarts who were looting diamonds from Marange. They further indicated that Treasury was being deprived of potential revenue as unsearched private planes were siphoning diamonds to Dubai and Hong Kong.