DZL workers demand commission of enquiry

Chris Mahove

The Dairiboard of Zimbabwe Limited (DZL) former and current workers’ trust has called for the establishment of a Commission of Enquiry into the goings-on at the dairy company which they say is being turned into a family business.

In a statement, the Trust’s Secretary General, Nelson Mapfumo, said the workers currently had outstanding issues concerning their pension funds, Dairibord Employee Share ownership Trust and Old Mutual Demutualisation fund which he claimed they were never paid.

He said they had raised these issues with the Board, Management and other stakeholders to be paid the outstanding amounts  but to no avail, adding that he had personally been requesting for his payments from DZL for the last 7 years and was only paid ZWL $2000 after having loyally served the company for 34 years.

“What we know as employees is our pension funds were banked in a USA bank, BTC New York account number 04166032 (See attachment) and these funds would be moved in and out of Zimbabwe when there was need. This was done to protect our pensions from the depreciation of the Zimbabwean Dollar. We have not benefited from these funds and feel these are the funds that the outgoing GCEO Anthony Mandiwanza wants to keep and protect his ill-gotten wealth which should be our funds as DZL employees and shareholders,” he said.

Mapfumo said the company had misrepresented to the Retrenchment Board that it was paying retrenched workers two months’ salary for every year served, yet it paid one a half months’ salary for every year served.

He further claimed they had submitted papers to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) to the effect that everyone was retrenched yet they had about 15 people who they made to sign voluntary retrenchment papers.

“The amount budgeted and withdrawn for retrenchment was US$500 000.00 but the amount given or paid out was less than US$70 000,” he said.

He said they also failed to understand why the DAIRIBOARD EMPLOYEE SHARE OWNERSHIP TRUST (DESOT) scheme had a lot of accounts instead of one account.

“We wonder if these are personal accounts for example these two 8700206413700. 8740103445800 are used to pay out out-going members.  The Trust is taxing 15% for tax or administration charges which is not in the registered trust deed and the members are complaining about these charges as they feel there are being robbed,” he said.

He claimed that the Board was not responding to the workers’ grievances as it consisted of Mandiwanza’s relatives who he had captured.

“We can understand why the DZL board is not responding, DZL board members are a well-rewarded board that is appointed by the GCEO, who is Anthony Mandiwanza. To prove my point, I was reliably informed that the Board Chair Josh Sachikonye is the uncle, “sekuru” of the current GCEO and the rest of the board members are related one way or the other and all of them are captured by Anthony Mandiwanza by their appointment,”

Mapfumo said it was sad to note that Mercy Ndoro, who is reportedly second wife to Mandiwanza was being elevated to replace Manidwanza as Group CEO of the company, which was against ethos of good governance, given the fact that DZL was a listed company.

Ndoro is the current Financial Director of DZL.

“By replacing himself with his second wife, DZL is now a family business which is completely against corporate governance with it being a listed company. Face it, where in the world do you have a GCEO, Anthony Mandiwanza and second wife being the Group Financial Director and can anyone in their right mind believe that they are not putting their fingers in the feeding trough of DZL funds. Look by appointing his second wife he is clearly protecting his ill-gotten wealth,” he said.

Mapfumo claimed that the Board chairman had not bothered to respond to shareholder, Engineer Jacob Kudzayi Mutisi’s request for the board to follow proper procedure in appointing Mandiwanza’s replacement because he would ‘also have his fingers burnt’.

Mutisi claimed that the company was pursuing the Mugabe syndrome where one could impose one’s ‘wife’ in a position of authority and requested for an investigation into Ndoro’s appointment.

“To be honest DZL is now a family business with Josh Sachikonye, Sekuru and Anthony’s second wife, Mercy Ndoro as the GCEO. This clearly indicated that Anthony Mandiwanza is running Dairibord in his bed-room and sekuru, Josh Sachikonye pulling the strings in the boardroom,” Mapfumo said. 

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