ZIPAWU demands reinstatement of dissolved Petrotrade board

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By Alois Vinga

THE Zimbabwe Petroleum and Allied Workers Union (ZIPAWU) has urged the government to urgently reinstate the Petrotrade board to save the company.

Last month, energy minister, Zhemu Soda, suspended the nine-member board at the state-owned petroleum products retailer pending investigations into alleged bad corporate governance

But the board chairperson approached the courts arguing that they were targeted for unearthing a series of corruption activities.

Speaking to Tuesday, ZIPAWU president Samuel Hova said the dissolved board must be allowed to resume duties due to their astute management practices..

“The suspended board and management had managed to resuscitate the company during their brief stint in office. Within a few months ordinary workers’ welfare had considerably improved as they emphasised on rewarding those doing the donkey work right on the shop floor,” Hova said.

“As ZIPAWU we appeal to President Emmerson Mnangagwa to intervene and save Petrotrade from total collapse. We strongly believe that the acting management team which is currently holding fort does not have clear direction on the future of the state enterprise,” he said.

Hova accused the company’s management of hiring workers through labour broking firms they have interests in.

This, he said, exposed the company to unnecessarily high costs and also gave management the opportunity to employ their relatives through consultants.

“In the absence of the board, victimisation of employees is now rampant at Petrotrade which is currently being run like a personal project by managers operating on an acting capacity basis,” said Hova.

“They don’t pay workers according to NEC negotiated salaries which they always blame on incapacitation and you cannot talk of incapacitation when you are hiring and paying consultants more money on labour broking,” he said.

Efforts to get a comment on the matter from Zhemu were fruitless.