Former workers at Kwekwe-based mining supplies manufacturer, GML Explosives, have filed for provisional liquidation of the firm.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
The company has been struggling to manufacture products as well as pay its workers who are now demanding that it be liquidated so they can “salvage something”.
In the August 7, 2018 application, the nearly 40 workers allege that the company had continuously made “empty promises”, but failed to honour its obligations.
“This is an application for winding up of the respondent in terms of sections 206 (f) and 206 (g) of the Companies Act (Chapter 24:03) on the basis that it is unable to pay its debts and that it is only just and equitable that the company be wound up. Respondent is unable to pay its debts when due and critically, the fact that it has persistently failed to provide proof that it is in a position to pay its debts (and) it is not preferring one creditor to another, has accounted for this application,” the workers said.
According to the workers, the company owes them over $1 million.
“The respondent is indebted to the applicants of the combined sum of $480 330 in respect of wage arrears due and owing and admitted as at June 9, 2014. In total, the respondents owe over $1,3 million in arrear salaries and wages alone,” the applicants argued, adding: “It remains prudent for this honourable court to note that the respondent’s admitted liability extends far beyond merely the claim of the applicants,” the workers said.
GML Explosives, the workers allege, has effectively stopped operations hence the logical thing is to close shop.
“The respondent has stated to the applicants that the reason for non-payment originates from ‘operational challenges’ and confirms that company is ‘non-operational’ in a letter to the workers’ committee by the company’s human resources officer,” court papers show.
Croinvest, the holding company of GML Explosives, the workers argued, is also being sued by the company’s former owners for failure to settle its debt relating to the purchase agreement.
“The applicants seek an order placing the respondent in liquidation to prevent the respondents’ debts worsening or any loss of assets and for the creditors to receive some value, particularly the former employees. The applicants further seek an order for liquidation as the respondent is clearly commercially insolvent in that it is not able to discharge its acknowledged debts and is not about to show that it is in a position to do so,” the application read.
The workers went on to propose the appointment of a Winsley Evans Malitala of Petwin Executor and Trust Company as a provisional liquidator.
Malitala, according to papers lodged with the High Court, has already accepted the appointment.