Vum­bachikwe Mine de­frauds pen­sion­ers

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

FORBES and Thomp­son Pri­vate Lim­ited trad­ing as Vum­bachikwe Mine, which is one of the big­gest mines in Mata­bele­land South Prov­ince has been dragged to court over non-pay­ment of pen­sion funds of its work­ers amount­ing to $2,4 mil­lion.

Em­ploy­ees and for­mer em­ploy­ers of the mine made a re­port to the po­lice af­ter learn­ing that the com­pany had been de­duct­ing monthly pen­sion con­tri­bu­tions from their salaries but was al­legedly not re­mit­ting them to the Min­ing In­dus­try Pen­sion Fund (MIPF) over a pe­riod of three years.

As a re­sult for­mer em­ploy­ees had not re­ceived part of their pen­sions. The com­pany rep­re­sented by Ad­vo­cate Lu­cas Nkomo of Cogh­lan and Welsh Le­gal Prac­ti­tion­ers pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud and theft be­fore Gwanda re­gional mag­is­trate, Mr Mark Dzira. The mat­ter was post­poned to 17 Oc­to­ber for con­tin­u­a­tion of trial.

Prose­cut­ing, Mr Mnce­disi Dube said Forbes and Thomp­son Pri­vate Lim­ited did not re­mit em­ploy­ees pen­sion con­tri­bu­tions dur­ing the pe­riod ex­tend­ing from 23 Au­gust to 31 De­cem­ber in 2016.

“Dur­ing the pe­riod ex­tend­ing be­tween Au­gust 2013 to De­cem­ber 2016 the ac­cused had been de­duct­ing monthly pen­sion con­tri­bu­tions from em­ploy­ees’ salaries but did not re­mit the con­tri­bu­tions to the Min­ing In­dus­try Pen­sion Fund. The payslips of the work­ers also in­di­cated that the monies had been de­ducted.

“The mat­ter came to light when the Min­ing In­dus­try Pen­sion Fund wrote a cor­re­spon­dence to the Vum­bachikwe Mine work­ers’ com­mit­tee in­form­ing them that their pen­sion con­tri­bu­tions TREND­ING dis­trib­u­tor of clean­ing chem­i­cals in the Mata­bele­land re­gion — Oil­slick Dis­tri­bu­tion (Pri­vate) Lim­ited — has un­packed a new, ad­vanced prod­uct called Dou­ble Ac­tion Bio-Enzyme Gran­ules which is a blend of freeze-dried bac­te­ria and en­zymes spe­cially for­mu­lated to rapidly di­gest or­ganic waste, re­duce both bad odour and at­tack had not been sub­mit­ted. The work­ers con­fronted the com­pany au­thor­i­ties over the mat­ter but they kept de­duct­ing the con­tri­bu­tions and not re­mit­ting them,’’ he said.

Mr Dube said the to­tal which had not been re­mit­ted dur­ing the pe­riod amounted to $2 470 236. Speak­ing in court one of the mine’s for­mer em­ploy­ees, Mr Si­lakho Shumba said Forbes and Thomp­son Pri­vate Lim­ited owed him $11 567 in un­paid pen­sion con­tri­bu­tions.

He said they tried to en­gage the au­thor­i­ties over the mat­ter with­out luck. Mr Shumba said he re­tired from work in 2015 and he has not re­ceived his part of pen­sion money. He said MIPF had in­di­cated that he will re­ceive the rest of his pen­sion af­ter the min­ing com­pany had re­mit­ted the money. He said he and his work­mates re­sorted to re­port the mat­ter to the po­lice as they felt the com­pany had robbed them.

Adv Nkomo said his clients were deny­ing the charges of fraud and theft as the de­ferred re­mit­tances of the pen­sion de­duc­tions was not a crim­i­nal mat­ter but a civil mat­ter be­tween the com­pany and MIPF. He said it was in­com­pe­tent for the com­pany em­ploy­ees to lay a crim­i­nal com­plaint against the com­pany. He said his client never made any rep­re­sen­ta­tion to any em­ploy­ees that pen­sion con­tri­bu­tions de­ducted from their salaries had been re­mit­ted to MIPF.

“The em­ploy­ees were aware through pe­ri­odic works coun­cil meet­ings that due to liq­uid­ity chal­lenges no funds were avail­able to be al­lo­cated towards pen­sion re­mit­tances. Avail­able funds only met the net salaries payable to the em­ploy­ees. The com­pany never had any in­ten­tion of de­fraud­ing the em­ploy­ees. The com­pany never had any in­ten­tion to con­vert any funds be­long­ing to any em­ployee to its own use,” said Adv Nkomo.


Oil­slick Dis­tri­bu­tion un­leashes

new clean­ing prod­uct

lar­vae of flies to re­duce the fly pop­u­la­tion found in and around pit toi­lets and la­trines.

This move has seen more ru­ral schools use the gran­ules in pit la­trines and Blair toi­lets as op­posed to the tra­di­tional way where they would just let the filled-up toi­lets lie idle for some years be­fore they could be re-used.

The gran­ules have no sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on ben­e­fi­cial in­sects or or­ganic ma­te­rial, are 100 % en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly, greatly re­duce pump-out fre­quency, pro­long the life of the soak-away and are very hy­gienic.

“Our prod­ucts are of very im­por­tant use es­pe­cially to ru­ral schools which have al­ready fill­ing-up toi­lets. The dou­ble-ac­tion for­mula is spe­cially for­mu­lated to rapidly di­gest and liq­uefy or­ganic waste. It also con­tains an ac­tive in­gre­di­ent which at­tacks the lar­vae of flies, thus pre­vent­ing them from shed­ding their skins.

“As this is an es­sen­tial part of the lar­vae’s growth and de­vel­op­ment, this dou­ble-ac­tion prod­uct ef­fec­tively stops the lar­vae from turn­ing into flies. Yet, it is non-haz­ardous to peo­ple, an­i­mals and wa­ter bod­ies. How­ever, we urge our client schools not to add any harm­ful chem­i­cals to the pit la­trines as these would kill the bi­o­log­i­cal func­tion of the bac­te­ria and the en­zymes” said Mr Ngo­nidza­she Mut­sengi, Di­rec­tor of ad­min­is­tra­tion at Oil­slick.

“For the best re­sults, it is im­por­tant to use the prod­uct monthly. Just call in on our cus­tomer services hot­line +263772454063 or even send a What­sApp text and our mar­ket­ing in­tel­li­gence unit will re­spond im­me­di­ately with so­lu­tions to any en­quiries. Al­ter­na­tively, you can phys­i­cally visit us at C. Gauche, be­tween 10th and 11th Av­enue along Robert Mu­gabe Way,” added Mr Siphiwo Ndlovu, Oil­slick Di­rec­tor of Op­er­a­tions.

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