Former Harare Mayor, Herbert Gomba, Accused Of Abandoning Injured Employee
Former Harare mayor Herbert Gomba allegedly abandoned a former employee at his mine in Kadoma after he suffered a serious leg injury at work.
27-year-old Tatenda Chimunyu told Pindula News that he started working at Gomba’s Mine, Davina South Gold Mine, on 21 December 2018.
Chimunyu fell into a mine shaft on 18 May 2019, according to a Police document, and broke his leg.
He said he spent some time in the hospital and surgeons inserted a rod into his broken leg.
Herbert Gomba reportedly provided some money to cover medical expenses for Chimunyu.
He said his parents and some relatives also chipped in with some cash but it was not enough as he could not go to the hospital for review.
Chimunyu said Gomba promised to give him money for his upkeep, a pledge he reportedly did not fulfill.
In one of the alleged WhatsApp chats between Chimunyu and Gomba, the former Harare mayor wrote:
Usarwadziwe mumoyo munin’ina wangu mari yako iripo, ndinoda kukubhadhara kukuwara kwawakaita ndinozviziva kuti hauna chauchakwanisa kuita muupenyu wave kurarama nekutambudzika nemarwadzo paupenyu . Mira kufunga zwakawanda ndinokupa mari yako iripo munin’ina handikurasi ndinozviziva wakakuwarira pabasa chero hama dzako hadzina kumbonetsana neni ndinozvitenda ndichakupa mari inoita kuti urarame zvakanaka munin’ina ndakamirira gumbo rimboita zwakanaka ndigokupa mari dzako,Kana neni zviri kutondirwadzawo zvakanyanya munin’ina wangu ndinoshuvirawo kuti upore pindura machats angu munin’ina usatsamwe ndini mukoma wako Herbert Gomba usatsamwe munin’ina vana Franko vakaguma kukupa mari rini yekuti uende uchipatara Tatenda.
Don’t worry my young brother, I will compensate you for the injury you suffered. I know you experienced long-term injuries and won’t be able to work again. Don’t worry, I will give you your money and will not abandon you because I know that you were injured at work. I’m grateful that even your relatives did not cause me any problems. I’m also pained by your condition, don’t be angry with me. It’s your brother Herbert Gomba. When was the last time that Frank gave you money for hospital expenses?
However, Gomba, who is a member of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) and Harare City Council Ward 27 (Glen Norah) Councillor, denied the allegations when contacted by Pindula News.
Gomba said Chimunyu was never employed by Davina South Mine and challenged the latter to provide documents to prove that he was indeed employed by the company.
He said Chimunyu was among a team of “makorokoza” or artisanal miners who worked at his mine, but not as his employees.
Gomba said there was an arrangement whereby the team of artisanal miners would get a share of the proceeds from the gold produced by the mine.
He admitted that Chimunyu was injured while working at his mine, saying he helped with medication and bills and some money as an act of benevolence since he was not his employee.
Gomba said the WhatsApp chats do not prove that Chimunyu was his employee and demanded that he provides an employment contract. In another alleged WhatsApp chat, Gomba wrote:
Ndichaita kuti Franko awuye nawo mapapers ako ari kuMine kuKadoma contract form rako ndakariona riri kuMine kuna Franko don’t warry munin’ina usafunge zvakawandawanda unopora munin’ina inguva chete.
Zvirisei Tatenda unokwanisa kuenda kuKadoma here unopiwa Contract form rako naFranko ndoda kuti uwuye naro kuno Harare ndigadzirise mari dzako munin’ina, kana usingakwanisi kunotora contract form rako kukadoma kuMine ndigomuudza Franko okuvigira ikoko kuZvishavane unofanira kugara unaro Contract form rako munin’ina bcoz ndiri kuda kuti uwuye naro kuno Harare contract form rako Tatenda ndoda kuti ndigadzire mari yako ndikubhadhare kukuwara kwawakaita ndinoinzwisisa situation yaunayo munin’ina.
Gomba insisted that if Chimunyu was his employee, he should produce the contract or at least a payslip and he would instruct his manager to pay him his dues.
Gomba’s manager, Francis “Frank” Nyamuronda, also denied that Chinyumu worked for Davina South Mine.
Chimunyu said he suspects Frank was the one feeding Gomba with wrong information and has a hand in his tribulations.
Compensation for work-related injuries in Zimbabwe
The National Social Security (NSSA) has a scheme, called the Accident Prevention & Workers Compensation scheme that was established in terms of Statutory Instrument 68 of 1990 for the provision of financial relief to workers and or their dependents when a worker is injured or killed in a work-related accident or suffers from a work-related disease or dies thereof.
The scheme covers all workers in the formal sector but excludes civil servants, domestic workers, and informal sector workers.
However, workers who are injured at work cannot make any claim unless they were making contributions to NSSA through their employer.
More: Pindula News