Workers at Hwange treated like slaves paid in bricks as salary


The other thing that we observed is that companies prefer engaging contractors but in the Labour Relations Act, we say that a contractor is an individual not a company. At the Hwange Colliery Company, there are contractors there who are individuals but workers are not getting their salaries while contractors get their money. As a Committee, we recommended that if it were possible, to enable the workers at Hwange Colliery to get their money, this issue of contractors should be stopped. There are many people there especially those who are skilled to do the work, provided that there is money. I think they should stop engaging contractors so that workers get their salaries because most of the money is being channelled to pay contractors.

The other thing that we noticed at the Refractory after visiting Hwange Colliery Company is that the workers there were being treated as slaves. They were not allowed to go for tea time or break and did not have protective clothing. They were not even given time to go for lunch and would only go for lunch after finishing work. The other thing which was happening to these workers is that they are not being paid their salaries but are being paid in kind. They are given bricks as payment and asked to go and sell the bricks. The company cannot get sales but it wants to give products to its workers as salary. The company itself is not able to sell its products but expects the workers to sell them and get their salaries from there.

We noticed that the way workers are being treated in all these companies is equal to slavery which is not in line with the Labour Act because we removed that and said workers should be treated well not as slaves. We see that in this 21st Century, there are still companies in Zimbabwe that are treating workers as slaves. With these few words Mr. Speaker, that is my contribution from our visit to Hwange. Thank you.



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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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