BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
INSIZA North legislator and director of Progress Mine, Farai Taruvinga, has been taken to the mining industry National Employment Council (NEC) by his workers over wages as well as unlawful termination of contracts, among other issues.
The 120 workers, who are being represented by the Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers Union (ZDAMWU), alleged that Taruvinga, who owns Trade River Investments, trading as Progress Mine, owes them about $212 075 in outstanding f wages, overtime, allowances and non-provision of personal protective equipment.
Forty-two workers also alleged unfair termination of contracts and they are demanding about $82 459 from the lawmaker.
“We are fighting for the workers and we will make sure the MP complies. We will make sure he pays all the monies that he owes his workers. There is no law that says if you are an MP, you are not compelled to pay,” ZDAMWU general-secretary Justice Chinhema told Southern Eye.
“So we will use every lawful means to make him comply and these people need their money. How can a person who is a lawmaker break the law? There is no protection on that and as a trade union, we are going to fight until he complies.”
Chinhema also accused Taruvinga of harassing female employees.
“We hear there are some female employees who allege they have been abused by him. He is a womaniser,” he said.
Chinhema said Taruvinga, who also owns an abattoir in Filabusi, was not remitting the NEC dues.
“As a union, we are also prejudiced; he has not been paying our subscriptions. These people joined the union in November 2018 and he deducted the money from the members, but did not remit to the union,” Chinhema said.
He added they had tried to engage Taruvinga over the matter on several occasions, but with no success.
Contacted for comment, Taruvinga said he was not involved in the day-to-day running of the mine which he described as a standalone entity with its own management team.
“So, if managers make decisions, I cannot always overrule them. It’s up to them and it doesn’t concern me. But currently, there are no issues like that I have heard of. How can he say I’m a womaniser? Where does this come in? I’m not a manager and I’m always in Harare for Parliament business,” Taruvinga said.
“This is funny and total madness. I will never go there (at NEC mining industry) even if I’m called. There are people who are running Progress Mine, not me.”