The Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Mineral Workers Union has welcomed the current acquisition of State-run gold mines by one of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s advisers, Kuda Tagwirei saying workers in the industry will for once have job security.
Tagwirei has been on a buying spree of several idle gold mines owned by the government through the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), a government-owned company.
However, the acquisitions have been questioned by several sectors including the business, civil society and opposition political parties who viewed them as corruption by individuals close to Mnangagwa.
But Justice Chinhema has come out in support of the developments by Tagwirei’s company, Landela Mining Venture saying the take-over gives workers job security.
“The workers are optimistic the taking over of the mines by Landela will secure them job security as well as guarantee better working conditions,” he said.
Under the ZMDC, life was difficult for workers. Hopefully, this Landela will not be one of those fly by night organisations who come amid pomp and fun-fare and disappear.
“As a union, we shall engage them and seek more about the benefits of the workers which must be more favourable than those that prevailed during the ZMDC era,” Chinhema said.
The mines that Landela Mining Venture is eyeing are; Jena in Silobela in Midlands province, Elvington in Chegutu, and Sabi in Zvishavane.
Last month, employees at the Sabi mine were paid their outstanding salaries in US dollars by the new owners while gold production was ramped up.
Meanwhile, Landela Mining Venture chief executive David Brown told NewZimbabwe.com, in an interview defended the acquisitions saying the mines were not operating and were under judicial management.
“The said mines are part of the ZMDC stable and were under judicial management. In is far as I am aware, this process is yet to be finalised,” he said.
“However, we are working at Jena Mine to assess the potential of the mine. It has very good grades but is a small mine. We hope that by evaluating the resource and subject to the capital needs we will look to expand.
“The ultimate size and cost will only be known once we have got the resource data. The other mines you mentioned are on care and maintenance and still subject to final judicial management (JM) process. Again it’s too early to assess the potential yet.”
Employees at Jena Mines told NewZimbabwe.com that from last month, management had taken over operations at the facility.
“Since May, we are now under Landela and we started reporting to the company’s management on 1 June,” one of the workers said.
Landela has also taken over operations at Metallion Gold in Mazowe and Shamva Gold Mine.