HomeLocal NewsZDI employees seek Mugabe intervention

ZDI employees seek Mugabe intervention

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ABOUT 90 workers at the State-owned Zimbabwe Defence Industries (ZDI) have appealed for President Robert Mugabe’s intervention to ensure they get paid after going for five months without salaries.

STAFF REPORTER

The ZDI manufactures and supplies military equipment and hardware for both the domestic and international markets.

The workers yesterday told NewsDay that they were ordered to stop reporting for duty three months ago with the company citing cash flow problems.

“We were last paid six months ago and each time we call the managing director (Retired Colonel Tshinga) Dube, he tells us that the cash flow situation has not improved yet,” said a workers’ representative who declined to be named for security reasons.

“What irks us most is that even though production has stopped, the company is still making a lot of money through exports to countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo. We believe the excuse being given by the management is not genuine and what makes matters worse is that there hasn’t been any audit of the firm’s books since dollarisation of the economy.”

He added: “All we are now asking for is President Robert Mugabe’s intervention so that we get our outstanding salaries and retrenchment packages and move on with life. As of now we cannot afford all basic necessities including food, monthly rentals and school fees.”

The workers also accused the company of deducting pension contributions from their salaries, but failing to remit the contributions to the relevant authorities since 2009.

Dube confirmed that the company was in salary arrears, but blamed it on cash flow problems.

“There is an element of truth in the workers’ grievances and as management we are trying all we can to clear the arrears and ensure our workers live a normal life,” Dube said.

“As you know our product is dedicated to the requirements of the army and for sometime now orders from the army have been very low. The Ministry of Defence is supposed to chip in, but we understand they are also facing similar problems.”

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