Sino-Zim offloads locals to pave way for Chinese nationals

Sino-Zimbabwe Cement Company in Gweru recently offloaded some of its contract workers, telling them that they would be bringing their own labour from China.

The company is a joint business venture between the China Building Material Corporation and the Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe Limited.

The affected workers told The Zimbabwean that they joined the company as apprentices and finished their training in 2011, after which they were told that the company was working on modalities to employ them as permanent employees.

However, management told them last week that their services would no longer be required as the company had sought the services of Chinese nationals to assist in the refurbishment of the plant.

Although the sources could not establish the number of affected workers, they said they were told the refurbishment exercise would take up to two months, after which they would be re-engaged.

“Some of us had been contract workers for close to two years and on Monday we were told that our services would no longer be required. Management told us they would call us back in December or January. But we are not sure we will come back because they have already indicated they are bringing people from China. Yet we are capable of doing that work,” said a source.

“When we finished our training, they had promised that we would sign permanent contracts but they reneged on this promise and we were made to sign contracts for three months and after that, the contracts were reduced to a month. So I think they knew all along that our contracts will be terminated and that is why they kept us as contract workers,” said another source.

Analysts have blamed Asian investors for failing to create employment in Zimbabwe by bringing cheap labour from their countries – thus benefiting immensely at Zimbabwe’s expense.

When contacted for comment the Sino-Zimbabwe Human Resources Manager, identified only as Hungwe, referred all question to the company’s General Manager, Dereck Moyo.

Moyo requested questions in writing but had not responded by the time of going to print.

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