MUTARE – THE Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) is alleged to be neglecting to pay over US$2 million in salaries and debts owed to DTZ-OZGEO (Pvt) Ltd when it took over mining operations from the Russian company.
ZCDC allegedly acquired the diamond mine in Chimanimani in a mafia
style from DTZ-OZGEO in 2016 and there are already full-scale mining
operations at its diamond fields in Turka Fores, Chimanimani.
A total of 80 heavily armed police officers were sent to forcibly take
over the mine in 2016 and ordered the workers to pack their bags and
DTZ-OZGEO claims there was no proper handover and takeover procedures and everyone was told to leave abruptly, resulting in the company leaving equipment, thousands of litres of diesel, fero silicone for processing gold, and the equipment is now being used by ZCDC.
In a recent interview, a former senior employee said: “There was an agreement with government, which owns ZCDC that the company would inherit the payment of salaries and outstanding debts owing to DTZ-OZGEO from February 2015, but up to now nothing has been paid.”
Added the employee: “We have tried to seek audience with the
management from ZCDC and it is proving to be very difficult. They seem to be neglecting or refusing to honour the agreement.”
“We were expecting and hoping that the new dispensation would change the attitude towards investors,” said the top employee.
The employee said it was now approaching the Parliament of Zimbabwe to seek recourse.
ZCDC Chief Executive Officer Morris Mpofu to pay said he would not comment over the mobile phone.
“I cannot comment on that issue involving DTZ (OZGEO) over the phone.
“Write your questions down and forward them to me and will make a
response,” he said.
However, Chairperson Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Mines and Energy Themba Mliswa said there was need for DTZ OZGEO to be compensated.
“Firstly, we have recommended that (DTZ OZGEO) goes back there and resume their mining operations. Secondly, there is the issue of
compensation,” he said.
“Government is ignoring the compensation issue. So it is either government or ZCDC is going to pay that,” he explained.
“There is that aspect for us to be adhering to the rule of law. It
means they (ZCDC and Government) are not respecting the parliament and the people’s right as enshrined in the constitution,” added Mliswa.
During its mining period, DTZ-OZGEO contributed $6,8 million in
royalties, paid $463 000 to the National Social Security Authority,
and $1,5 million in mining fees and levies.