15 November 2018

Tanzania: Artisan Miners Complain Over Fake Work Permits

SOME mining entities at Mirerani Hills are allegedly issuing fake work permits to people posing as artisan miners to infiltrate into the newly constructed wall around the Tanzanite quarries.

Speaking to Commissioner of Labour from the Prime Minister's office Gabriel Malata who toured the quarries, some miners and Mirerani residents charged that the work permits being issued by some mining firms only serve as entrance cards into the fortressed enclosure.

The documents, they claimed, hardly bind the companies' management to provide workers with employment benefits.

"We are forced to sign the alleged contract papers but they then tell us that the pacts be kept at the entrance to serve as 'gate passes,' otherwise, they remain there simply as permits not something that guarantees us the rights that we are entitled to," the miners complained.

They charged that many of them have never received salaries or any form of payment and they were compelled to beg for money from others to make ends meet.

In response, Mr Malata directed all quarry owners to ensure that they turn the fake work permits into real documents by honouring all their employees' arrears before Christmas.

"It is not just for payments, but contracts are the only documents that will guarantee workers assistance should anything happen in the mines," said Mr Malata, pointing out that quarries were dangerous working spots and should any person get injured, it is easy for owners to disown them due to lack of official contracts.

Tanzania constructed the 26-kilometre wall around the rare Tanzanite mines at Mirerani hills in Manyara region's Simanjiro District to curb the notorious mineral smuggling from the location.

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