FLAMBOYANT businessman Phillip Chiyangwa yesterday gave 49 striking security guards $2 each and a banana to cool their tempers.
The National Eye Security guards, who were deployed at Marange Resources diamond mine in Chiadzwa, were yesterday up in arms with their employer demanding payment of their salaries for 10 months.
The striking guards this week besieged the company’s office in Harare’s Belgravia suburb.
The guards said commotion temporarily stopped after Chiyangwa arrived and gave them $100, translating to about $2 each, and a banana.
One of the workers, Never Tiyani, said they had been working in Chiadzwa and had gone for the past 10 months without any salary.
“We are gathered here so that we are told when we are going to be paid our money,” Tiyani said. “We used to work at Chiadzwa and we would work almost 24 hours a day for 21 days and for the past 10 months we have not received any money.” He added: “Today we were given a banana each and $2 by Chiyangwa.”
It was not clear in what capacity Chiyangwa assisted the striking guards. National Eye is reportedly owned by Tapson Madzivire, a losing Zanu PF parliamentary candidate. He was not reachable for comment yesterday as his phone was barred for incoming calls.
Contacted for comment, Chiyangwa said: “Why are you calling me? I am not the owner of the security company. Why don’t you talk to the workers and the owner of the company? I don’t want to be sought after everything I do in my private life. I have no comment to make.”
When NewsDay got to the scene, the employees were buying beans on credit saying they had no money to pay cash.
“We have had no salary for a long time and our families are starving,” said one of the employees. “We are now buying beans on credit, money which will be deducted from our salaries, so that we get home with something.”
Another employee, Chari Takwana, said: “All we want is our money so that we are able to feed our families.”