Marange guards besiege office over salaries

More than 50 National Eye Security (NES) guards today besieged their company headquarters at No 10 Natal road in Belgravia, Harare demanding payment of salaries dating back 10 months.

The NES is the company that provides security at Marange Resources in Chiadzwa.

The visibly angry workers refused to vacate the company premises demanding to see the company’s Director, identified as a Zanu (PF) member, Tapson Madzivire.

The workers, some of whom had been at the company offices since 8 am, pledged to camp at the premises until their demands were met.

The guards are paid a monthly salary of $350.

Said one of the disgruntled guards, Alexander Tavengwa: “My children are supposed to pay for their final ordinary and advanced level examinations and I have not received my salary for the past ten months. I am at a loss as to what to do because my children’s future is affected.”

Another demonstrator, Takwana Chari, said the company was compensating the workers through rice, beans and salt.

Said Chari: “We are given 10 packets of sugar beans, 10 kilograms of salt and 20 kilograms of rice in place of our salaries and we are told that they are going to deduct the money from our salaries. The challenge is that I cannot pay for my children’s school fees, health care and rent using beans, rice or salt.”

The workers accused the company’s management of victimisation through retrenchment of those believed to be the ‘bad apples’.

“Because we are now asking for our money, we are being called traitors.

“Anyone who asks for their salaries is labelled and they are said to be from the opposition party MDC,” he said.

The workers said management insisted that Marange Resources, a struggling government mining company, was not paying the company for services provided.

According to the guards, the majority of whom were deployed at Marange diamond fields, an NES official identified as Tompson Wachi had addressed the workers and told them that the organisation was funding several state functions which include elections, President Robert Mugabe’s 2014 birthday, independence celebrations and Bona Mugabe’ s wedding ceremony, hence the failure to pay the workers.

“They do not give us transport money to go to work and for the 21 days that we are camped in Marange, we are like slaves because the food that we get is pathetic.”

Maponga said the workers’ health safety concerns were not covered by the NES and this posed a serious health risk to their well being.

The workers alleged that they were now being associated with party activism of the opposition parties although they were recruited as Zanu (PF) youths.

“Whenever we ask for our money, we are threatened with expulsion from the organisation,” said Munyaradzi Madeko.

“The sad part is that this company hires and fires security guards for no apparent reason especially when they realise that you are beginning to question their unfair conduct.”

Added Alfred Gamba: “We were told that this is empowerment for Zanu (PF) supporters when we were recruited for the job because the recruitment process involved presenting your party card.

“I am now wondering what kind of empowerment this is if a person is employed and then dumped when it is pay day or when they ask for their salaries they are labelled traitors,” he queried.

Efforts to get a comment from the NES officials proved futile as the company’s receptionist only identified as Nyarai said the company’s management was not in office.

Madzivire’s mobile number was not reachable for a comment.

Post published in: News

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