Zimbabwe diamond mine pay deal agreed

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ANJIN, the biggest miner operating in Zimbabwe’s controversial Marange diamond fields, said yesterday a two-day strike by workers had ended after management agreed to a 25 per cent wage rise.

In previous strikes, Chinese-run Anjin was accused of unfair treatment including beatings by management.

Wages were the focus of the latest walkout, Munyaradzi Machacha, a director at Anjin, said. “We had a strike where workers wanted their pay to be increased,” Machacha said. “The workers have since gone back to work after they were awarded a 25 per cent increase in both wages and salaries.”

Keeping diamond mining on track is vital for the government, which owns half of Anjin and relies on the industry for revenue.

Anjin employs 1,500 Zimbabweans and more than 200 Chinese.

The Marange area where it operates, 240 miles east of Harare, has generated controversy since 20,000 small-scale miners invaded the area in 2008 and were forcibly removed by soldiers and police.

Human rights groups say up to 200 people were killed during the process, charges denied by the Zimbabwean government.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said last August that police and private security employed by some mine owners were shooting, beating and using attack dogs against unlicensed miners. Anjin has denied any wrongdoing.