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Riot police called in as striking Mbada Diamonds workers besiege HQ

HARARE – Riot police were called in on Monday after striking workers at Mbada Diamonds again besieged the company’s head office in Borrowdale, Harare demanding salaries backdated to August last year.

“It’s now 5 months no salaries and they can’t even implement a plan B,” one of the striking workers told Nehanda Radio.

Those who laid siege on the company HQ include workers who have not been paid their salaries and others who were dismissed without being given any terminal benefits.

On Monday about 30 security guards were dismissed with some 115 new people being recruited to replace them.

“It’s being reported the guys belong to a former Mbada security chief who is being subcontracted by the Mbada chairman. Its now called Mark’s Security (Pvt) Limited,” a source told Nehanda Radio.

Company officials however insist the pickets which started before Christmas at their offices concern just 12 former employees who are trying to force the payment of unpaid exit packages.

Last year in June, Mbada Diamonds which has over 1700 workers on its books, halved salaries after reportedly running into production losses.

An email sent to workers said “Due to poor productivity, all salaries are to be halved with immediate effect. This position shall only be reviewed subject to upturn in production.”

Mbada is a 50-50 venture with government through its Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation and New Reclamation Group’s Grandwell Holdings of South Africa.

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