By Mbekezeli Ncube
ZIMBABWE Consolidated Diamonds Company (ZCDC) employees have been plunged into poverty after the government-owned firm has gone for months with paying their wages.
ZCDC is based in Mutare where the company is conducting mining operations in diamond rich Chiadzwa area.
Workers who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com on condition of anonymity said their situation has been worsened by poor working conditions in a company that has run into tough times.
“We last received salaries in February and since then, there has been a lot of empty promises yet we have been reporting for duty without failure and production has been fairly well,” said a worker who refused to be named for fear of victimisation.
“The local currency has lost a lot of its value and we are still entitled to Zimbabwe dollar salaries which are still outstanding.”
NewZimbabwe.com also learnt that earth moving equipment and static plants will soon become dysfunctional due to company failure to buy spares to service them.
Another source said when President Emmerson Mnangagwa gave the green light for mining companies to continue with their operations during the nationwide lockdown period, ZCDC ordered its employees to move in and stay within company premises where Covid-19 regulations and precautions have been thrown through the window.
“In an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus, the company forced all employees on duty to come and live within the company concession in poorly maintained camps inherited from former diamond miners.
“Workers have to share rooms, in some instances up to eight people per room; no privacy or security for workers and their belongings.
“The company uses a shift system whereby the incoming shift is used to share the same beds which were used by the outgoing shift and workers are subject to poor eating conditions as the company’s canteens usually run out of food,” he said.