By Staff Reporter
FOSSIL Group, parent company of Fossil Agro and Fossil Contracting, which was Monday added to America’s sanctions list alongside proprietor Obey Chimuka, is set to retrench 2,000 employees in response to the move.
Chimuka, Fossil Agro and Fossil Contracting were placed on the list for their association with businessman Kudakwashe Tagwirei, whose wife Sandara Mpunga was also sanctioned.
The group, which currently employs 3,000 people, has cited foreseen viability challenges as a result of the sanctions, an insider at the firm told NewZimbabwe.com.
The insider, who requested anonymity, revealed that a meeting was held Tuesday where executives agreed to lay off the 2,000 employees; it followed Monday’s announcement by the United States’ Treasury Department, .
“As early as this morning (Tuesday), a meeting was held where it was hinted that more than 2 000 employees will lose their jobs,” said the insider.
“The meeting was centred more on reasons why the organisation had been sanctioned, especially considering that the main issue which had been picked up in the circular was the owner’s relationship with Tagwireyi.
“It was agreed that sanctioning of Fossil Group was biased as the company was not even the main beneficiary of any project it was currently involved in; from road construction where Bitumen World and Masimba Holdings lead.
“In command agriculture, there were more than 10 firms supplying inputs and Fossil Agro was not the only company government contracted, neither was it the largest. FSG which is white owned was the largest company.”
Tagwireyi and his Sakunda Holdings were added onto the sanctions list in 2020.
The US and Zimbabwe have for over two decades been involved in a blame game, with Zimbabwe accusing America of using them to force regime change by crippling its economy while America insists they are targeted and have not affected ordinary people in any way.
Fossil Contracting is involved in rehabilitation of the Harare-Beitbridge Road and Mbudzi interchange construction in a conglomerate, TEFOMA.