Something fishy seems to be going on at Zimbabwe’s Cold Storage Company


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Workers interviewed by The Insider said, Havercroft did not appear to have the kind of money that the government said he was investing.

“He is neither here nor there. What he is saying in the media is different from what is on the ground,” one of the workers said.

The workers said as far as they could tell, Havercroft has so far not invested any money into the CSC. Workers have been getting their salaries since he came on board but though they were told they would be paid on the 25 of each month last month they got their May salaries around 3 June. They got their June salary on 10 July.

One of the workers said their salaries were coming from the rentals Havercroft was collecting from CSC properties in Bulawayo and other centres like Masvingo, Kadoma and Marondera which he had pegged in US dollars but are now being paid in Zimbabwe dollars at the interbank rate.

“As far as I am concerned, it appears these guys are in it to fix the government for taking over their farms because they are stripping CSC assets. They are harassing workers. They are evicting workers who are staying in CSC houses.

“On Friday they published a list of 56 people who are over 60 that they want to retire.

“It’s terrible because they do not have any money.  They have not announced their package yet but I do not think they have the money to pay off the workers. Workers’ salaries have not been reviewed. The lowest paid employee is getting about Z$200, artisans are paid about Z$475 and managers earn about Z$800.

“They have promised to pay employees their arrears dating back to 2012 but they say these will be paid in Zim dollars and not in US dollars or even the equivalent at the interbank rate. To make matters worse they want to pay the arrears in 54 months.”

One of the workers said the 54 months was agreed as a scheme of arrangement when the National Social Security Authority wanted to take over the company, but NSSA was going to pay the workers in US dollars.

A form which The Insider has in its possession shows that one employee, a ranch clerk, earns Z$268. The employee is owed Z$15 655.  At today’s rate this translates to about US$2 000. The employee has been waiting for that money for seven years and will now be paid the amount over four and a half years which roughly means that he will be paid about Z$290 a month and can therefore hardly buy anything meaningful even if he were paid a lumpsum.

Coming next: Who is Nick Havercroft

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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