My name is Phillip Kudakwashe Mafundu and I am the acting general-secretary for the Progressive Mining and Allied Industries Workers Union of Zimbabwe (PMAIWUZ) and also the substantive general-secretary for the Progressive Agriculture and Allied Industries Workers Union of Zimbabwe (PAAWUZ).
I have vast knowledge of the goings on in the two industries.
We appreciate and we are willing to cooperate with the media as it plays its fourth estate role and we will not keep quiet when information is misrepresented.
As a matter of fact we are a registered trade union that represents workers at Kunyu Mine and will concentrate on the issues that have been raised by the workers there.
We do not know neither do we confirm any ulterior agenda by any journalist or media house in Zimbabwe and we are willing to cooperate with all the media institutions in upholding an objective and fair position and we are also open to constructive criticism.
We believe this position is shared by all progressive citizens of Zimbabwe.
We are not targeting anyone or any foreign investors as we deal with all employers in the mining industry and where there is no compliance we enforce it regardless of nationality.
The situation at Kunyu Mine is dire and workers are suffering at the hands of their Chinese employers, which has been described as a quasi-military camp.
- Chamisa under fire over US$120K donation
- Mavhunga puts DeMbare into Chibuku quarterfinals
- Pension funds bet on Cabora Bassa oilfields
- Councils defy govt fire tender directive
All what was reported in The Standard about a month ago is very true and can be proven.
As stated, it is a case before the National Employment Council for the Mining Industry and that’s why previously we did not comment as a trade union handling the case.
The issue of polluting the environment by Kunyu Mine was understated.
In actual fact we have workers, who have been exposed to these chemicals and fallen sick.
As is if it wasn’t enough these workers were then unfairly dismissed without benefits.
The system to monitor legal compliance on how local and foreign companies operate is there already in Zimbabwe, but there are some who feel maybe they are more important than others and choose not to comply, obviously cutting corners.
When society then sees one investor not complying with a system where all others are, obviously the blame goes to officials that monitor such complaints.
There would be suspicion that they have been bribed and this is society’s view because it cannot be proven beyond the fact that this certain investor is not complying and continues to operate.
We have the Ministry of Mines, CID Minerals, Environmental Management Agency (EMA), National Social Security Authority, Ministry of Labour and the National Employment Council for the Mining Industry.
As trade unions we must lobby for a system to be put in place by the government of Zimbabwe to monitor legal compliance.
As trade unions we are also limited in the way we operate.
We have to work with the National Employment Council and the labour officers.We have raised concerns that when we report such matters to them, they take ages to resolve the issues and this leaves the workers exposed even more and the perpetrators bragging that they are untouchable.
The Labour Act is very clear that a matter before a designated agent of the national employment council or a labour officer should be resolved within 30 days.
We have a case that was reported on 24 November 2021 against Kunyu Mine at the National Employment Council for the Mining Industry but even as we speak it hasn’t been resolved.
Most of the workers who reported this matter have been chased away from the mine site without following proper procedures.
We have more than three separate cases against the same employer, Kunyu Mine as we speak and still they do not want to comply.
The cases are clear cut and in our view simple.
For example the issue of underpayment of wages, the adjudicating authorities have to just check if the employer was paying the wages according to the stipulated minimum wages.
We will not dwell much on the other issues although most of the complaints came through the workers mostly because workers are involved in all the processes at the mine site and where procedures are not followed they are the ones to know first .
We have requested several times through the National Employment Council for the Mining Industry that an on loco inspection be done on the mine where all interested stakeholders be invited so that the truth will be revealed and that has not been possible all because the authorities at Kunyu Mine are not willing. –Phillip Kudakwashe MafunduGovt must renegotiate bad Pomona deal
THE Harare Residents’ Trust (HRT) has followed with keen interest developments on the Pomona waste dumpsite deal following the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the City of Harare and Geogenix BV of the Netherlands on March 8, 2022.
The HRT appeals to the government of Zimbabwe to facilitate the renegotiation.
Alternatively, the government should cause the total cancellation without prejudice to the ratepayers in Harare of the waste to energy project if the terms of the deal remain unchanged.
As currently constituted and structured, the deal with Geogenix BV is unreasonable, arbitrary and places unnecessary and unjustified financial burden on the City of Harare and by extension the residents of Harare.
Geogenix BV has not constructed a weighbridge to quantify the garbage being delivered to Pomona dumpsite.
So far the Geo Pomona Waste Management (Pvt) Ltd, the company established to represent Geogenix BV, has dismally failed to justify and explain its huge fees for each tonne of garbage delivered by the City of Harare. Undisputed facts are that the Pomona dumpsite belongs to the City of Harare before this deal came into effect.
However, after the handover of the dumpsite to Geo Pomona Waste Management (Pvt) Ltd on 20 May 2022, the Pomona Dumpsite is now under the control and ownership of Geogenix BV for the next 30 years, meaning until 2052.
According to a special report presented to the Special Council meeting held at Town House on 2 June 2022 by acting town clerk Pakhamile Moyo, the City of Harare did official site handover to Geogenix BV Project Company Geo Pomona Waste Management (Pvt) Ltd on 28 April 2022.
This followed the signing of the joint statement on April 27, 2022.
The City of Harare and Geo Pomona Waste Management (Pvt) Ltd agreed to jointly operate the site until 20 May 2022, after which Geo Pomona Waste Management (Pvt) Ltd fully took over the site.
The City of Harare is required to pay US$40 per tonne for every tonne of waste delivered to Pomona dumpsite to Geo Pomona Waste Management (Pvt) Ltd.
The contract requires that the City of Harare delivers 550 tonnes, 650 tonnes, 750 tonnes and 850 tonnes respectively in the first, second, third and fourth years of the project.
This means that the City of Harare has a contractual obligation to pay US$5,4 million for 2022, US$9,5 million in 2023, US$10,95 million in 2024, and US$12,4 million in 2025 respectively.
This makes it US$38,3 million for the first four years. However, from 2026, being the fifth year, until 2052, the City of Harare has to supply 1 000 tonnes of garbage per day, amounting to US$40 000 per day, and translating to US$14, 6 million per year.
For the 26 years, this means the City of Harare has to pay US$379,6 million to Geogenix BV for merely dumping garbage at Pomona dumpsite.
The estimated total cost to the City of Harare of the project is US$417 870 000.
The question on most Harare residents is what exactly would Geogenix BV have done to deserve that huge payment from their coffers.
The HRT has observed that the City of Harare councillors have convened three special council meetings at which they made key resolutions pertaining to the Pomona Waste to Energy Project.
On February 28, 2022, they resolved to adopt the project.
On June 2, 2022 a resolution was made to reverse their earlier decision and they set up an investigations committee.
They followed up the June 2, 2022 resolutions by convening another special council meeting on July 18, 2022 at which they resolved to request July Moyo, the minister of Local Government and Public Works, to facilitate an engagement between the City of Harare and Geogenix BV in respect of their inability to settle the money being charged by Geogenix BV for dumping garbage at Pomona dumpsite at a time they are failing to pay their workers.
The council also resolved to let the government divert the devolution allocation for the City of Harare to Geogenix BV.
The devolution funds are disbursed to local authorities in terms of Section 301 (3) of the constitution of Zimbabwe.
It states that: “not less than five percent of the national revenues raised in any financial year must be allocated to the provinces and local authorities as their share in that year.”
The council is also struggling to provide essential services to the ratepayers of Harare.
Therefore, paying Geogenix BV becomes unaffordable to the ratepayers.
In view of the financial constraints being experienced by the City of Harare, the exclusion of the ratepayers in the structuring of the agreement with Geogenix BV, the steep fees charged by Geogenix BV without any investment of their own on Pomona, the residents of Harare request the government of Zimbabwe, through the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the Office of the President and Cabinet and the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (Zida) to intervene on behalf of the residents and facilitate the re-negotiation of the whole deal.
If the renegotiation does not succeed, the residents prefer that the waste to energy project be cancelled without any loss to the City of Harare. –Harare Residents TrustFeedback
The Informal Economy Women’s Hub (INEWOH) notes recent press reports pertaining to funding for women’s projects. The report quotes a member of a political party chastising their party members for not applying for loans with the Zimbabwe Women’s Bank (ZWB) in Zvimba district of Mashonaland West.
The most worrisome aspect of this report is that the utterances were made at a political gathering. Many initiatives in Zimbabwe have often failed owing to political interference, and we as an organisation fear that the ZWB facility will collapse owing to undue political interference and non-performing loans. Zimbabweans still have fresh memories of the collapse of many financial institutions owing to the same reasons and would not want the same fate to befall an institution whose founding principle was to ensure the financial inclusion of women at concessionary rates.
Women make up over 65% of the workforce in the informal economy but are far outstripped by their male counterparts when it comes to earnings. In our everyday interactions countrywide as the Informal Economy Women’s Hub, a number of women have expressed the desire to want to be their own employers and grow their business endeavours but face challenges in raising capital, more so in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic where they did not receive any form of social protection.
We appeal for all women to be given equal treatment when adjudication of such facilities is availed, given the fact that this is taxpayers money, and it is the least that the government can do in the absence of social safety nets. As the Informal Economy Women’s Hub, we will continue to build the capacities of our members to demand transparency and accountability in informal economy governance at all levels. -INEWOH