DISGRUNTLED workers at CMED (Pvt) Ltd yesterday revealed that the government fleet management company had in fact lost almost $7 million from the botched fuel deal with an indigenous company, First Oil.
An eight-member delegation representing CMED workers made the sensational claims when they appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure chaired by Epworth MP Amos Midzi (Zanu PF).
CMED is battling to recover $3 million advanced to First Oil for the supply of fuel last March.
But yesterday, workers’ committee vice-chairman Takura Tendai Clarence said the total prejudice was to the tune of
$7 million as CMED ended up repaying the $3 million loan to the bank with interest, apart from the $3 million that was allegedly swindled by First Oil.
“CMED has paid the $3 million, plus almost $1 million bank interest, to add to the $3 million swindled by First Oil. This brings the total prejudice to around $7 million,” Clarence said.
Last week, CMED former loss control manager Kapini Chigogo told the same committee that the company had lost $3 million in the fuel deal involving First Oil which had been unilaterally picked by CMED managing director Davison Mhaka.
The workers also appealed to government to repay its $12 million debt and stop buying vehicles for ministries to keep it viable.
“If all this fails, we are asking the shareholder to fully fund voluntary packages so that frustrated workers can start self-help projects and live a meaningful life as was given by God,” Brian Bwawa, the CMED workers’ union secretary-general, said.
Government is the main shareholder in CMED.
Bwawa said the workers last received salaries in December and were working under difficult conditions.
“Most of the workers are lodgers and when they are not paid on time, they have problems with their landlords. In fact, some of the workers have been thrown out of their lodgings,” he said.
“We are asking the shareholder to settle the $12 million it owes to CMED and recapitalise the company so that it operates at full capacity,” Bwawa said.