SOME 243 security guards at diamond mining company Marange Resources in Chiadzwa have gone for eight months without salaries, NewsDay has learnt.
BY EVERSON MUSHAVA
The guards are employed by National Eye Security (NES), a company reportedly owned by Zanu PF activist Tapson Madzivire.
Sources said about 130 of the guards have already left their jobs and were struggling to recover their dues at the company’s headquarters in Harare.
The guards were paid an average of $350 per month and for the eight months they have not been paid were collectively owed around $680 400.
Some of the guards who spoke to NewsDay on condition of anonymity claimed that the company had been given them flimsy excuses since last year. One of the guard said the company had been promising to pay them but repeatedly failed to honour its pledge.
Repeated efforts to get a comment from the company failed as Trevor Jakachira, the marketing director referred questions to Madzivire, who was always said to be out of office.
However, according to the guards, a NES official managing the guards deployed at Marange identified as Tompson Wachi had been giving the security guards several excuses and promises that were never met.
“Last year, he (Wachi) told us that the company had given government money to finance the constitutional referendum and would soon pay us after government paid back. But we were never paid,” one guard said.
“When we approached him later in the year, he then said they have also given money to government to give to recapitalise local authorities after government froze debts by residents.”
Zanu PF last year froze all debts owed to councils by residents ahead of the July general elections.
Madzivire last year lost a chance to represent Zanu PF after trailing to make it in the party’s primary elections.
The workers besieged the NES offices in Belgravia. Last months, they were allegedly given $5 each and a 20 kg of rice which would be deducted from their dues. Last Friday, they were given $100 each after they stormed the offices again.
“What we now want is our money and nothing else,” another irate guard said.
“We have heard that about four guards were fired last week after they were caught with $8 000 and seven pieces of diamond. What will stop them from stealing or working with the illegal diamond miners if they are not paid?” queried another guard.
A security officer at Marange Resources refused to comment on the matter yesterday saying he was too junior to talk to the media.
But another guard claimed that NES actually owes Marange Resources a lot of money accrued from over claiming after misrepresenting the number of guards deployed to the site.