It never rains but pours for embattled Zanu PF apologist Themba Mliswa.
The fitness trainer-cum-politician was recently locked up in prison for over two months and is still up to his neck in court battles but as if that were not enough, workers at his farm have rebelled against him accusing him of cruelty and non-payment of wages.
For over three weeks now, 50 workers at Mliswa’s Spring Farm in Karoi have refused to work because Mliswa has allegedly failed to pay them for the past four months and is said to be unapologetic about it.
NewsDay sources at the farm said on Friday that only about 20 casual workers were running errands at the farm.
Senior managers at the farm including Chinjai Kambuzuma, the farm administrator and Tongai Mvarume (buyer/manager) confirmed the development but said efforts were being made to settle the dispute.
“Everything is now under control. We are working on their rates with Gapwuz (General Agricultural and Plantations Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe) and their national employment council to address the matter. By tomorrow everything should be fine,” said Mvarume.
Kambuzuma also said efforts were underway to settle the workers’ wages although she did not know when the workers would be paid.
Strenuous efforts to contact Mliswa over the past two days were fruitless.
Workers at the farm told NewsDay they decided to go on industrial action after seeing that Mliswa was arrogant and not sensitive to their plight.
“We sympathised with him when he was in jail and worked without pay.
When he came out we talked to him and the managers about our plight, but he was very arrogant.
He even told us that he could pay us after five years if he wished,” said a workers’ representative, who identified himself as George Ndoro.
Ndoro said the workers had reported their grievances to Gapwuz and the Ministry of Labour and Social Services as they sought to find a way to force Mliswa to pay them.
Mliswa was recently convicted and fined for assaulting his farm workers.