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‘Miners not remitting pension contributions’

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ONE of the mine union workers in Zimbabwe has begun a “war” against mining companies for failing to remit pension contributions to the Mining Industry Pension Fund (MIPF), despite deducting them from workers.

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

In an interview with NewsDay, National Union of Mines, Quarrying, Iron and Steel (NUMQUIZ) workers of Zimbabwe president Enock Sithole said mining companies were not remitting pension contributions to the fund despite deducting them from workers.

“We have started the war with mining industry employers. The mining industry and other industries are not sending the pension fund of the worker. We are not discriminating any company but if a company is violating the law as it stands we will dispose them,” Sithole said, who is also the first vice-president of Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions.

“The issue, which we were given by the Mining Industry Pension Fund is basing on all employers in the mining industry. When we are going to get anybody, who is not subscribing to the mining industry pension fund, they will suffer the consequence of their misdemeanour. I’m taking it myself. I will even send it to the Cabinet so that there must know.”

He said the information he got from MIPF was that a number of companies were not remitting funds, when they were supposed to do so within 14 days.

Sithole said one of the biggest culprits was Duration Gold, a Zimbabwe-focused private gold miner and explorer that owns Vumbachikwe.

He said Vumbachikwe has not been remitting pension funds since 2013 and the figure now stood at $241 000.

“Duration is not sending those monies to the mining industry pension fund. Pensioners who fall under Duration almost about three years the contribution is sent to fund in pieces which is a violation in terms of the mining industry constitution and other statutory instrument required,” he said.

He said Duration has fired 190 employees outside the framework of the Labour Relations Act and that could not be accepted.

“The government must be aware of that violation. People were fired without any discussion, without any disciplinary matters, without anything so far, as that collective bargaining agreement is concerned and without the code of conduct of the trade unions which is Statutory Instrument 165,” he said.

“What we want is to clear all what the Vumbachikwe employers are doing. We want this country to go smartly so far, as the workers are concerned.”

“Arrears for NUMQUIZ members is $7 284. No employees have been dismissed outside the framework of the Labour Relations Act,” Duration Gold country co-ordinating project manager, Ollie Iversen said.

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