Zimbabwe: Salary Arrears Threaten ZCDC Operations

14 October 2020

The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) is currently battling to remain operations amid workers' unrest over unpaid salaries dating back to April, the company workers have told 263Chat.

Well-placed sources at the government-owned diamond entity say the situation is dire and has been compounded by the recent failure of the company to provide food for its workers.

Operations have been reportedly halted as the company is failing to procure fuel for the plant machinery due to financial challenges worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The company is failing to buy fuel, you know we have dumpers, excavators among other machinery which need fuel to operate.

"At Portal A at plant B, almost 300 workers used to come to work, only five people or some just above five are now coming to work at the plant every day just to do safety talk," said a worker on condition of anonymity.

One worker said since the start of the Covid 19 lockdown, operations have slowed down and now completely halted as workers can no longer sustain without food at the company canteen.

"Operations at the plant last ceased almost three months ago, there is no work to MiningZimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC)talk about at the plant. There is no food at our canteen, we have been eating Sadza and vegetables through and through and this is not good for a diet.

"Now they are failing to provide us even food to eat, so we have said enough is enough we need to be addressed," said the worker.

ZCDC spokesperson Sugar Chagonda confirmed that the diamond producing company had failed to pay its workers due to the disturbance of the precious stone's global value chain.

He said the company has since resumed diamond sales and was close to resolving the salary impasse with its workers.

Chagonda is on record that the company have been affected by the Covid 19 pandemic as they have not made any sales due to lockdown.

"We had problems paying our salary arrears to workers and we have been updating them on the challenges that we had which were emanating from Covid 19 challenges.

"These challenges are not peculiar to ZCDC but have been felt across the whole sector, it's a situation that we are addressing actively.

"We have been optimistic in our outlook and we have resumed diamond sales so we are actively addressing those constraints, we can safely say we are finally navigating out of the woods," said Chagonda.

Recently the company's former acting chief executive officer Robert De Pretto who recently resigned from his post amid political interference spoke out against shocking levels of poverty and underdevelopment in Chiadzwa.

De Pretto was reportedly hounded out of the state entity and forced to tender resignation for irrevocable differences with top government officials angling to benefit from diamonds, ZCDC has since appointed Mark Mabhudhu as the new mining concern chief executive officer.

ZCDC has been facing viability challenges and owes its employees salaries since April, and at one time forced to seek a loan of approximately ZWL$2milion from a local bank to pay salary arrears.

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