Marange community says NO to the return of Anjin Investments
The Marange community is strongly opposed to the return of diamond mining company, Anjin Investments. Anjin Investments is a joint venture between Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group (AFFEC) and Matt Bronze, a subsidiary of Zimbabwe Defense Industries which is wholly owned by the Zimbabwe National Army.
Chiadzwa Community Development Trust member, Gladys Mavhusa said the return of Anjin Investments hurts the community because the company has not been observing the environmental laws of the country.
“We had agreed that whichever company comes back, we have to do environmental impact assessment first. However, with Anjin, that was not done. We went to meet them and demanded to see the EIA but they told us that it is kept at ZCDC.
“We requested from ZCDC to see Anjin Investments EIA but they are not forth coming. So we now think there is some unholy collusion between ZCDC and Anjin,” she said.
Justice Chinhema, Secretary General of Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals workers union said the partnership between the Chinese and the military is scary.
“We do not know if the military is out at the moment but anything associated with the military is frightening even to the workers. An organisation that is a private limited should not include a state apparatus.
“The presence of the military will stifle workers’ rights. The workers will have challenges because the whole workplace will be militarised. Workers cannot freely bargain because they will be afraid of engaging the military,” Chinhema said.
He added that Anjin Investments is coming to intimidate workers and that is not proper.
Fungai Nhaitai of Bocha Mapuwe Endande said the community is offended by the return of a company which violated the laws of the land by failing to contribute to the 10% Community Share Ownership Scheme.
Chief Bernard Marange said he is not aware of the return of Anjin adding that no one notifies him of mining taking place in his area.
However, the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Workers Union (ZIDAWU), Cosmas Sunguro said the return of Anjin will help in finalising pending court cases. “When Anjin Investments left Zimbabwe, there were pending court cases. It is easy for the workers to pursue their cases now that they are back.”
He bemoaned bad corporate governance by Anjin Investments saying since its return, the company is giving workers a flat wage of RTGS$300 regardless of one’s qualification.
Sunguro said Anjin is also not providing decent accommodation for the workers and as a result, some stay more than 60 kilometres away from the workplace.
Anjin was, in 2016, forced out of Marange by former President Robert Mugabe. Mugabe accused diamond miners of participating in the massive looting of diamonds estimated at USD15 billion. The company was also named by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in February 2018 as having externalized foreign currency.
In March Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG), reported that whilst Anjin had returned to Marange on 1 March, all government departments in Mutare, the provincial capital of Manicaland, and the traditional leaders in Marange and civil society were not informed about the move.
When asked on what due diligence mechanisms were followed in bringing back Anjin to Marange, the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development was evasive as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry kept pleading for more time to gather the necessary information.
However, in an interview with a state owned radio station, Minister of Mines and Mining Development Winston Chitando said Anjin Investments returned to Chiadzwa under a government to government agreement.
“Anjin are now back in the Chiadzwa area and right now as we talk, they are on the verge of commencing production. By the end of July, they will be in full production and we will have a function to officially commission the new production,” he said.
Chitando downplayed the involvement of the military saying the shareholding the shareholding is one aspect and the running of the company is another.