Rhodies will never change


IN a typical example of the racist horse and rider relationship, a Kadoma gold miner, Amber Rose Mine, dismissed 12 black employees because they had upgraded their lifestyles.
Amber Rose Mine accused the unfortunate workers of ‘stealing’ after noticing the workers’ improved livelihood.
The dismissed employees told The Patriot that manager, Frank Allison had relieved them of their duties citing their new lifestyle was not commensurate with their poor wages.
The 44-year-old white boss pounced on the workers after one of them bought a second hand vehicle and the other embarked on a poultry project.
Apparently, the manager was irked by the worker who came to ‘show-off’ his ‘new’ vehicle to his colleagues.
The manager openly told this reporter that there was no way the workers could afford to make improvements in their lives given the starvation wages they receive.
“I was pushed to fire these guys without notice because one of them bought a car and I suspected that he was stealing from me because with the money he earns here, he should not have developed in that way,” he said.
“I also heard the other guy named Samuel had started a broiler growing project and was financing the construction of his father’s house which is a sign that he was indeed stealing from me.”
What irked workers at the mine was not just the dismissal of their colleagues but the condescending behaviour of whites.
“It has always been the case with the Rhodesians pre and post independence, they are arrogant and do not think that blacks can amount to anything significant. They believe they are superior and Africans are inferior and incapable of social mobility,” said one worker who refused to be named.
The workers expressed bitterness with the mine owners who only employed workers on contract basis so as not to provide perks such as medical benefits.
All the contracts are short-term and renewed on a monthly basis.
“We are offered very short contracts so that people do not complain in fear that their contracts won’t be renewed,” said another worker who refused to be named.
“Some of us have been working under these conditions for over five years.”
Allison, who failed to establish concrete evidence to support his accusations, said he had been tipped by one of his employees.
“I was tipped by one of our assistant mechanics that the workers were stealing gold in the shaft and I tried to trace some of them, but failed to catch them with the ore,” he said.
“I had to fire them because I am only a manager here and if my boss hears that there are gold dealings at the company, he might think that I am also involved, so I can not risk my job because of these guys who are suspected to be stealing from the company.”
One of the dismissed workers dismissed the allegations citing victimisation wrought by their improved lives.
“What he fails to appreciate is that Zimbabweans have become entrepreneurs as a result of empowerment programmes,” he said.
“Some of us have pieces of land and we are producing tobacco hence the improvement of the quality of our lives.
“Allison is not telling the truth.
“We never stole from the company because there is tight security which is difficult to breach.”
After being booted out, the workers discovered that the miner was not remitting their pension contributions to National Social Security Authority (NSSA).
“We have been working here for more than five years and the company was deducting close to US$8 per month, but nothing was paid to NSSA.
“This came out when we went to NSSA to get our pensions after the company fired us, we were shocked to discover that we were not registered with the pension’s fund.
“The company denied us leave days as per our agreement and the days were not paid for.”
Amber Rose Mine which classifies itself as a small-scale mine employs more than 100 people.
Most of the workers do not have national identification cards.
Workers at the firm who earn around US$250 per month said the company was underpaying them as it realised an average of two kilogrammes of gold per 14 tonnes.
Allison fumed over the workers appeal to the labour court.
He said the matter was supposed to be addressed at company level threatening employees with unspecified action.
“These guys said I am not a boss especially Samuel, he is a big problem, he is the one who influenced all workers to report the matter to the labour court,” he said.
“But I tell you this guy (Samuel) will create problems for all workers if he continues with his actions.
“He cannot talk to me in a ‘rude’ way because he still needs to come back to me.”
Meanwhile, Allison criticised local youths who got mining claims through the indigenisation programmes as poor managers who were doomed to fail within a short period of operations.
“These guys (fired workers) are like the youths who are acquiring claims in Kadoma, they do not know how to manage their money and they all end up broke,” Allison said.
“Most of them are just after flashy cars and at the end cannot boost their operations they should learn from us (whites) who run business professionally.”


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