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Zimbabwe: Death Exposes Chinese Cement Producer Flouting Labour Laws

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The death of a worker at Livetouch, a Chinese owned cement manufacturer in Redcliff last March, left the company exposed after it emerged it was flouting the country’s labour laws and not registering its workers with the National Social Security Authority (NSSA).

According to NSSA, the death of an unidentified employee at the cement manufacturing plant exposed how the company had not registered any of its employees with the Workers Compensation Insurance Fund (WCIF) and the National Pension Scheme (NPS) both schemes under NSSA.

NSSA communications executive Tendai Mutseyekwa told NewZimbabwe.com that a recent visit to Livetouch showed how employee safety and security requirements were sub-standard.

“Following the incident that resulted in the death of an employee on 6 March 2020, NSSA inspectors from our Gweru office visited the scene on 6 March, 10 March and 6 August to investigate the issue, in compliance with our mandate,” Mutseyekwa said.

He said the inspectors were shocked to find Livetouch was not complying with safety procedures and NSSA issued it with a prohibition order until it complied with NSSA regulations.

“The company was issued with a prohibition subject to ensuring proper guarding and safe operating procedures at the crusher plant,” he said.

NSSA also discovered Livetouch’s employees were not registered with its compensation and pension schemes.

“Investigations had also shown that the company was not registered with Workers Compensation Insurance Fund (WCIF) and National Pension Scheme (NPS) schemes under NSSA,” Mutseyekwa said.

Livetouch had since complied with NSSA requirements and the prohibition order has been lifted.

“A follow-up inspection to check the implementation of safety requirements aimed at preventing recurrence of similar accidents that was carried out by the NSSA inspectorate on 11 June established that the prescribed safety requirements had been implemented and hence the prohibition order was uplifted.

“After a joint visit by NSSA’s Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate and the Compliance Inspectorate, the company registered with the NSSA schemes on 18 August.

“They subsequently settled their subscriptions for the two NSSA schemes from the effective date of 4 April 2017, when the company started operating, up to July 2020.”

Meanwhile, according to Mutseyekwa, “the report on the fatal accident is pending a post-mortem report from ZRP Redcliff to allow allocation of responsibility of accident and institution of legal action.

“NSSA officers have made various follow-ups by phone, as well as visits to the station on the 10th of March and 6th of August.”

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