HomeNewsEx-Mbada employees besiege company offices

Ex-Mbada employees besiege company offices

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A GROUP of former Mbada Diamond’s contract workers yesterday besieged the company’s Borrowdale offices demanding their terminal benefits after the expiration of their contracts last year.

BY OUR STAFF

The disgruntled workers threatened to assault members of the media, accusing them of being biased.

After initially refusing to entertain the media, a man who identified himself as chairperson of the group said the ex-contract workers wanted to engage management over payment of their benefits.

“This is not a demonstration. We want to engage the management over the payment as well as unfair termination of contracts,” said the ex-workers’ representative who refused to identify himself.

“They made deductions for medical aid and other statutory deductions, but the monies were not remitted to the relevant institutions. Instead, they converted it to personal use.”

Mbada spokesperson George Manyaya could not be reached for comment as he was said to have travelled to the diamond mine in Marange.

But an official who is not authorised to speak to the media said all the full-time workers at the mine had since been paid their outstanding salaries.

He said the few disgruntled ex-workers who besieged the company were failing to appreciate the operational challenges facing the company and other diamond miners in the country.

Mbada used to employ 1 800 people, but was forced to reduce its workforce due to high operational costs.

The official said Mbada was committed to the welfare of workers and development of the country and had so far contributed about
$430 million to government and about $30 million to community share ownership schemes.

Mbada Diamonds recently said it would acquire high-tech machinery to start mining deep-seated conglomerate and kimberlite diamonds in the Marange area as alluvial deposits have declined.

President Robert Mugabe last week conceded during an interview to mark his 91st birthday that diamond production and revenue has drastically fallen due to the depletion of alluvial diamonds and urged the country to instead focus on gold production while equipment was being sought for kimberlite mining.

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