Anjin Investments has retrenched at least 950 workers out of close to 1 800 people since it started operations in 2010. About 190 of the remaining 845 workers still face the chop as the company targets to remain with at least 655 workers by March next year. Anjin director Mr Munyaradzi Machacha, disclosed this during a tour of the diamond mining firms in Chiadzwa by Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa last week.
He said the actions were cost-cutting measures on the back of depletion of alluvial diamonds forcing them to dig deeper for conglomerates which he said were not commercially viable using current technology.
“At the beginning, we had a workforce of about 1 300 Zimbabweans and 500 Chinese to make a total of 1 800,” said Mr Machacha.
“We have since reduced the number of Zimbabweans to about 750 and the Chinese (about) 95. We intend through natural wastage to reduce this figure further to about 560 Zimbabweans by March.
“We are taking these measures in order to remain viable. We have also put some of the machinery on idle mode. Of the seven processing plants that we have, we are only using four at the moment.”
Mr Machacha said some of the dump trucks, excavators and front-end loaders were inactive.
Meanwhile, Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister Christopher Mushohwe, said diamond mining companies were still to honour their Community Share Ownership Trust under Marange-Zimunya.
Villagers, he said, were livid with the companies after promising to disburse the money after launching of the Trust.
He made the remarks at DMC, which was Minister Chidhakwa’s first port of call during his three-day familiarisation tour.
“There were pledges given to the extent that even the President was given a US$1,5 million (paper) cheque to show to people that this is money coming from this company, one of you. But to date, nothing has been remitted and yet we have 50 percent shareholding as Government.
“People look around and say private companies without Government are complying. Why is it that our partners in Government are not complying? It doesn’t speak well of us as a Government.
“It doesn’t speak well of you as our partner,” said Minister Mushohwe.
He said there was no more land for relocating families that were still in the mining concession after Minister Chidhakwa asked DMC management if they still had families to be relocated.
“Yes there are 84 families in concession E and around 256 in concession Q. We will be relocating them soon,” said DMC chairperson Retired Brigadier General Ezekiel Zabanyana.
But Minister Mushohwe interjected asking them where they would relocate them when space was exhausted to which Rtd Brig Zabanyana said they would approach the former’s office for guidance.
Minister Chidhakwa also toured Arda Transau where families were relocated.
Some of the projects done by the companies that he toured include schools and shops.
Resettled families expressed their gratitude for the diamond companies’ generosity though others expressed concern with the delay in some projects.
The villagers said they wanted electricity at the schools and their homes.
But Minister Chidhakwa said it was important for villagers to appreciate that there was a need for companies to balance between making profit and fulfilling their community obligations.