A PLANNED demonstration against the Anglo American Platinum-owned Unki Mine by a community group over the mine’s alleged recruitment of unskilled labour from outside Shurugwi flopped yesterday after no one turned up for the protest.
Even the leaders of the community group Bernard Dzoriwa and Never Nhema were nowhere near the site of the planned protest and efforts to reach them for comment were unsuccessful as their mobile numbers were unreachable.
The community group wants Unki Mine to recruit general hands only if their identity documents reflect the district code 66 for Shurugwi.
According to minutes of meetings held between Unki management and the community group on August 26 and September 25, 2013, the pressure group alleged that Unki was “importing” general hands breaching its promise to give preferential treatment to the people of Shurugwi.
The group also accused Unki of not considering qualified locals for skilled positions and alleged that the company’s human resources officials were demanding bribes from job seekers.
Unki general manager Walter Nemasasi dismissed the community group as unofficial, saying the company only dealt with a “properly constituted community engagement forum” comprising three chiefs and other area representatives.
“We have chiefs Nhema, Ndanga and Banga as well as the district administrator and local MP who constitute the Community Engagement Forum. This other group is not official,” Nemasasi said.
Nemasasi accused the group of making irrational demands and false allegations against Unki.
“There is no legislation on how corporates should carry out community engagement programmes, but the Anglo American standard is that we draw a radius of 60km from where we operate.
“So Shurugwi, Gweru urban and parts of Masvingo are in this radius, but these people want everything to benefit only those in the Nhema area.”
Nemasasi alleged that there was “a hidden hand” pushing the community group led by Dzoriwa and Nhema.