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Queens Mine ‘gags’ workers

DURATION Gold Investment (DGI) Private Limited, which owns Queens Mine in Nyathi, Matabeleland North province, has warned its workers against talking to the media about working conditions at its Little Mviga section.

The workers recently expressed their displeasure over poor working conditions.

A memo signed by the mine manager John Mlazi dated November 4 stated: “It has come to the management’s attention that some employees are talking to newspapers about the working conditions at Little Mviga section, particularly the system being used to lift ore from the working level to the skip. The system was tested and it proved that it is safe and productive for now, while development of the shaft to the lower end of the mine is being done.

“Inasmuch as this is criticised mainly by people who have got no clue in mining systems, DGI is proud to have provided employment opportunities to the locals. As DGI we will continue being of help to the communities that we operate in by providing employment, and contributing towards the US$12 billion economy as prescribed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.”

Mlazi said DGI employees must report any unsafe conditions to their heads of departments or through safety representatives in their sections instead of speaking to journalists.

Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Mineral Workers Union (Zdamwu) secretary-general Justice Chinhema yesterday confirmed that workers had been gagged.

“They (DGI) are trying to intimidate workers not to speak about safety issues and working conditions that are deteriorating everyday. It is on record that the shareholders are fighting each other over the control of the mine.

“Workers are facing so many challenges that include non-payment of salaries. Just last week workers went on strike over the same issues. Management should just pay workers. Zdamwu is litigating every case,” Chinhema said. – (Southern Eye)

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