Chinese-owned Firm Locks Zimbabwean Workers For 5 Months
About 150 workers at Diamond Cement, a Chinese run company near Kwekwe have reportedly been forcibly separated from their families for the past five months by the company.
The company management allegedly made the decision because they fear that if the workers go home, they will bring back the coronavirus.
The workers are reportedly living in squalid conditions and are being made to sleep in cargo containers.
The workers recently petitioned the company management to be allowed to go and see their families but they were reportedly told that anyone who leaves the company will not come back.
Diamond Cement spokesperson George Makonese told Masvingo Mirror that the workers were not forced to stay at the company’s premises but did so voluntarily. He said:
Yes, we have employees staying at the plant but they signed indemnity forms. No one was forced to stay at the plant.
However, if one leaves, there is a process by which one will come back because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is true that the workers had a meeting with the Managing Director over the issue recently and everything was resolved.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) secretary-general Japhet Moyo said it was unfair for companies to keep workers at the workplace for more than two weeks.
Moyo said he will send a delegation to go and look into the matter.