Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
former Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company chief executive Mr Mark Mabhudhu yesterday said he was arbitrarily fired from the newly-established firm hardly three months after he had assumed duty. Mr Mabhudhu said he was handed a retrenchment letter, a day after he had attended a polygraph test whose results he had not been shown. He said this while giving oral evidence before a Parliamentary Portfolio committee on Mines and Energy chaired by Cde Jennifer Mhlanga (Zanu-PF).
“When I was asked to leave, I was escorted from the chairman’s office and I handed over everything including a laptop that I was working with that had all the production information. As I sit here, I do not know the reason. The chairperson, who is also the permanent secretary (Professor Francis Gudyanga) just called me to say we have this letter for you,” said Mr Mabhudhu.
He said efforts to engage ZCDC chairperson were unsuccessful since Prof Gudyanga had been avoiding him.
Mr Mabhudhu said some of his executive members were also retrenched after two months of commencement of duty and before the expiry of the three months probation period.
He said what was painful was that some of the executives had left their work within and outside the country to take up jobs at the ZCDC. The current acting chairperson for ZCDC, Dr Ridge Nyashanu, said Mr Mabhudhu had little experience in diamond mining.
Mr Mabhudhu, who told legislators that he had more than 25 years working in diamond-related fields, said he had structured a strategic plan for ZCDC that he said was set to transform the diamond industry to be a force to reckon with.
“We were at a loss on what was happening. We had envisaged to do certain things in the current, medium and long-term. We had a clear programme to accelerate growth as per expectation of Government,” said Mr Mabhudhu.
He said the consolidation of mines in Chiadzwa caused a lot of anxiety particularly from creditors. “Creditors like bankers and financial institutions all wanted to be paid because they did not understand what was happening,” he said.
Mr Mabhudhu said he was told the polygraph test had been directed to be done by President Mugabe, but was surprised to receive a letter of retrenchment the following day without being told about its results.
“When something comes from the President, who am I to refuse?” asked Mr Mabhudhu.
Mr Mabhudhu said they had produced about 510 000 carats within the first three months of their operation, something he said was a great achievement.
He slammed Prof Gudyanga saying he had very little knowledge in diamond mining.
Article Source: The Herald