CASES of theft by Zimplats Mine employees are on an increase as employees struggle to keep pace with stringent economic conditions in the country, Zim Morming Post has learnt.
In separate incidents this month, mine authorities reported two employees working at Bimha mining shaft for stealing company property.
One employee from Glenrise Investment was caught with 21 shock-tubes of explosives, while another from Masimba Construction was also caught red-handed with a sackful of copper cable.
Glenrise Investment is a Zimplats subsidiary, whereas Masimba Construction is subcontracted by the Mhondoro Ngezi-based platinum giant.
Security at the mine reportedly discovered that the employee, Auther Munhenga, a general hand at Glenrise, would steal explosives following lapses in clearances by security at Zimplats.
“The employee would use the Zimplats bus as his getaway vehicle as it is not subject to any security searche. He, however, ran out of luck after a tip-off by other employees who reported the issue to the mine security team,” said another employee who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The employee-cum thief, on being interrogated, blamed his wayward behavior on poor remuneration.
Munhenga was released from police custody after he paid ZWL$ 100.00 admission of guilt fine.
Another contractor from Masimba was also caught on security camera cutting copper wire while in one of the tunnels.
The employee is also said to have taken advantage of security glitches in the mine’s shaft to get the copper out of the shaft.
He was later caught on a camera which was installed after supervisors complained of vandalism in the mining shaft.
Investigations by Zim Morning Post revealed that there is a huge wage disparity between contract and Zimplats workers despite the two performing similar jobs.
In May this year, the National Employment Council (NEC) Mining Industry agreed to a 90 % increment for all employees in the sector, but most sub-contractors are still paying employees way less the stipulated levels.
“How do you explain this situation where a general hand under ZimPlats is getting ZWL$4 700, while someone holding the same position as a contractor is getting only ZWL$600. The two do the same job, so why the discrimination,” lamented a foreman who only identified himself as Mtombeni.
Employees from Zimplats are said to be supplying their loot to the market that has been created by the growing number of artisanal miners in Kwekwe and Kadoma.
Efforts to get a comment from Busi Chindove, the Zimplats communications officer, were fruitless.