Update on Murowa Diamonds

In April 2015, I had conversations with workers whose contracts had been terminated at Murowa Diamonds in Zvishavane, Midlands Province. Their situation was desperate. Workers’ representatives told me that 250 contract workers out of a workforce of 400 had lost their jobs. I raised the issue with the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Hon. Fred Moyo in the Senate on 14th May 2015 and this is what he had to say.

SENATOR TIMVEOS : My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development. Murowa Diamonds has terminated contracts of most of their companies that were contracted there and over 250 people have lost t heir jobs. What is your Ministry doing about the problems that are now being faced by these miners who have lost their jobs? THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (MR. F. MOYO): Thank you Madam President. Yes , we had a problem regard ing Muro wa Diamond Mines which faced three challenges recently. The first one was the one that Government was debating regarding the 15% tax on diamonds being exported unbeneficiated. The second was discussions we were having with them regarding ground rental whic h attracts a tax that must be paid to Government. The third issue was that the current mining contracts had come to the end of the tenure , so they had to be renewed and their renewal protocols are such that they have to terminate the current contractors, r emove them from site and then re – advertise the same contracts so that fresh bidders can come through and bid for the mining work that has to be done by contract companies. The tax issue of 15% has been resolved and the ground rental issue is receiving at tention. The bidding for contracts, I believe has been done and the interested contractors have been shortlisted. Final stages of selection of the final contractor, I believe is in process. This is a company issue and so, I cannot be specific there but the hon. senator will find that, once the contract to mine is awarded to the winning bidder, the work should start again and the mine should operate as normal. The mine could not remain with sub – contractors when in fact the main contract had been terminat ed. So, that is what led to the removal of sub – contractors from the mine. So, things should be going back to normal in the next couple of weeks. I thank you Madam President.

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