ZCDC Chief Executive Officer Hounded Out
MUTARE-Acting Zimbabwe Consolidation Diamond Company (ZCDC) acting chief executive officer Roberto De Pretto has resigned from his post over alleged frustrations on top of government interference in the management decisions.
De Pretto who has been replaced by Levy Chiota as Acting CEO, was reportedly hounded out of the state entity and forced to tender resignation for irrevocable differences with top government officials angling to benefit from diamonds.
Recently De Pretto during a policy review meeting for Portfolio Committee on Mines and Minerals Development in Mutare said the was shocked with the level of underdevelopment in Chiadzwa despite the area having rich diamonds deposits.
De Pretto lamented the ‘shocking levels of impoverishment’, with the Marange community lacking access to basic social amenities, roads are in bad shape and children walking long distances to go-to school.
In an interview with De Pretto said he resigned due to family pressure, his family resides in South Africa.
ZCDC has been facing viability challenges, and owes its employees salaries since April, and at one time forced to seek a loan of approximately ZWL$2milion from a local bank to pay salary arrears.
“I resigned due to family pressure have not seen my family since January this year, my wife is also not well, it is very unfortunate that l had to leave ZCDC,” he said
ZCDC spokesperson Sugar Chagonda had not responded to text messages sent to him.
However sources privy to the development says De Pretto was forced to leave in a huff following concerted pressure from top government officials since his appointment in 2019.
Management changes were pushed by top officials and a memo was circulated that Depreto was serving on notice and while the company from previously held sales acquired a percentage that can only pay 25% of one month arrears.
“He was an upright and c0sussprofessional person who wanted progress at ZCDC but was being frustrated by some government officials who wanted to benefit from the diamonds,” said the source.
Zimbabwe Allied Diamond Workers Union (ZIDAWU) president Cosmus Sunguro says the government owned entity has failed to transform fortunes in the sector.
He said the welfare of workers have been severely exposed by the Covid 19 virus.
Our position is simple, pay workers what is due to them. Why punish their families’ because of gross incompetence yet ZCDC has been auctioning diamond before where is the money?
“Workers deserve decent salaries, mind you there’s inflation factor. And if the worse comes to the worst, workers reserve the right to withhold their labour, until their conditions are improved
“Our greatest fear is to have a similar situation like Redwing mine where workers went on for 22 months no pay and eventually collapsed,” said Sunguro.