Chinhema Appointed AFMMW Secretary General

Justice Chinhema, the General Secretary of the Zimbabwe Diamond and…

Justice Chinhema, the General Secretary of the Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers Union (ZDAMWU), has been appointed as the deputy secretary-general for the newly established African Federation of Miners and Mineral Wealth (AFMMW). AFMMW is a federation of African workers’ unions seeking to address the plight of mine workers on the continent.

Rudairo Mapuranga

Chinhema was elected at the AFMMW inaugural conference held in Cairo, Egypt, with Mohamed Samara of the General Trade Union of Mines, Quarries, and Salinas Workers Union from Egypt elected as Secretary General. Chewa from the Zambia Mine Workers Union of Zambia was elected as the President of the continental body, deputized by representatives from Egypt and Morocco.

Speaking at the inaugural conference, Chinhema emphasized that workers’ unions should fight to end slavery-like working conditions in the mining sector in Africa.

“We are attending this conference very much aware that networking of regional and international trade unions in solidarity enables us to unite towards fighting governing systems, policies, and capital that oppress workers in our countries. It is also a vehicle for empowerment and the development of workers’ capacity, building trade union unity that enables us to confront our common challenges as a united front.

“It is with that in mind that I carry a message from my home country to all of the working class in Zimbabwe. I concur with my colleagues that beneficiation and value addition of our minerals are real development.

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“The transformation of Africa can only happen if we start to push our governments and capital to benefit and value-add to our minerals. When we start to participate in the economic development of our countries as workers. Instead of celebrating job creation that has been heralded in our country, Zimbabwe, and other parts of Africa, brought by China and other new investors, we are seeing a recolonization of Africa with no development in mining communities. Slave work is being introduced in the name of investments.

“This is why we exist as trade unions. This is why we are here as African workers. We need to fight this form of capitalization, this form of labor blocking, and this form of labor slavery that is being created by the Chinese and other investors coming to our continent.

“We want to see clear policies that seriously address inequality in mining communities, the development of our economies, and the transformation of our lives. Comrades, it’s high time we tell our governments and the capitalists that it’s time we share the resources that they are taking in our countries. Our government needs to be told that it’s high time they also consult workers,” Chinhema said.

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