Workers at Gweru-based sole glass manufacturer, Zimglass have raised concern over the manner in which the company was purchased by Brainman Investments, owned by Douglas Kwande of DCK Supermarkets, amid indications that the investor paid just over ZW$22 million (US$900 000) contrary to media reports that the figure was in United States dollars.
They alleged that the deal is mired by lack of transparency and have since instructed their lawyers to contest the liquidation and distribution account of the firm’s assets which they feel does not cater for their welfare.
Former workers speaking through their legal advisor, Advocate John Bakasa said he (Bakasa) had a meeting with the company’s liquidator, Mr Winsley Militala who indeed indicated that the purchase price of Zimglass was in local currency.
“I had a meeting with the liquidator and he advised me that contrary to media reports that the money was in US dollars, he actually received Zimdollars for the purchase of the company although I am not sure of the exact figure which is around Rtgs $22million,”Bakasa said.
“He (liquidator) promised to avail the distribution account of how much was paid by end of next week.”
Bakasa added: ” As the legal team our instructions from workers is that the process was not transparent as they are not in know-how of what went on with movable and immovable property of the company.
“As it stands we would contest the distribution account if its intended plan does not cater for the welfare of the former employees.”
The former workers are concerned that the purchaser Brainman Investments had not contacted them on whether they are plans for re-engagement and settling of salary arrears of over RTGS$3 million.
Zimglass liquidator, Militala confirmed that the purchasing price was in local currency and added that the workers were owed over RTGS$3 million in salaries and allowances.
“The purchase price made to the company is ZW$22,5 million. According to our records and schedule summary of outstanding salaries and allowances as at that period (June 2014), contractors wages stood at $252 840, salaries, $2 278 397, management salaries, $682 637, leave days accrued, $325 820 while fuel allocations for the previous year (2013) were pegged at $122 745 bringing a grand total of $3 662 442.
“The assets include two properties where Zimglass is currently situated, plant and machinery as well as Industrial Sands (a subsidiary company that supplies major raw materials for making glass),”said Militala.
“Our liquidation and distribution accout is in draft form and once the transfers sail through, the same will be lodged with the Master of the High Court for auditing.”
He added: ” It’s the buyer’s prerogative to engage some of the former employees and to me it would not only be morally correct but prudent for continuity purposes.”
Zimglass was owned by State owned Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe before being placed under final liquidation.
The glass firm stopped operations in 2010 before being placed under judicial management in 2014.
After Zimglass collapsed the country has been importing all its glass requirements following repeated efforts to bring in a new investor hit a snag.
Efforts to get comment from Kwande were fruitless as his mobile phone was unreachable.