The family of the late Charles Moyo, crushed to death three weeks ago while working on the Mtshabezi-Umzingwane pipeline, has received $7 000 compensation from the Chinese contractor running the project.
Initially, the family was demanding $250 000 compensation.
Nicholas Mazarura, general secretary of the Zimbabwe Construction and Allied Trades Workers’ Union, confirmed the development.
“In terms of the statutes, if a worker dies on site the situation is handled through the National Social Security Authority (NSSA). But the question is, is the company registered with NSSA? We are still investigating that aspect,” he said.
“However, outside this there have been some negotiations going on between the deceased’s family and the employer which as a union we facilitated on humanitarian grounds.
“The family wanted $250 000 but the employer has pledged to give $7 000 as well as payment of the deceased’s salary for the next six months, and the deceased’s widow has been offered employment in the company,” said Mazarura.
Moyo was employed by China Nanchang, a Chinese contractor working on the Mtshabezi-Umzingwane Dam link pipeline when walls of a 10-metre deep pipeline caved in on him and five other colleagues while they were laying pipes about three weeks ago.
Earlier in January this year, the Zimbabwe Construction and Allied Trades Workers’ Union had approached Labour and Social Welfare minister Paurina Mpariwa to air its grievances against several Chinese firms in the construction industry who were reportedly violating labour regulations.
The union claimed Chinese companies in the construction industry were abusing their workers and were paying them wages below what they were expected to get, among other unfair labour practices.
This prompted Mpariwa to institute a formal enquiry into the allegations.
Mpariwa warned Chinese companies to comply with the country’s labour laws, dismissing claims they were immune to labour laws as their conduct was governed by “country-to-country” agreements.