Made accused of interfering in CSC operations

Joseph Made

Agriculture minister Joseph Made has been accused of bypassing the Cold Storage Company Limited (CSC) board and ordering its chief executive officer to terminate workers’ contracts on three months’ notices, a move that exposes the government’s duplicity on retrenchments.


At a time the government is expressing mixed messages on the retrenchments of public servants and parastatal employees, Made is reported to have called CSC chief executive officer, Ngoni Chinogaramombe and told him to by-pass the board and take advantage of the July 17 Supreme Court ruling to terminate workers’ contracts on three months’ notice.

This was exposed in minutes of a September 1 board meeting, which were leaked to the Southern Eye.

The minutes indicate that Made personally phoned Chinogaramombe and advised him to take advantage of the Supreme Court ruling on termination of employment contracts on notice to address the company’s “salary bill challenges before the law is amended”.

“Due to the urgency of the matter, the CEO consulted the board chairman and the human resources and remuneration committee chairman, who both approved the terminations,” read the minutes.

“Accordingly, 125 non-managerial employees’ and four managerial employees’ contracts were terminated.

“Terminations mainly targeted excess to requirement staff and employees due to retire within the next three years.”

The minutes state that management took note of the concerns raised by some members of the committee, who were of the view that the matter should have been presented to all members of the committee before implementation.

“It was finally resolved that the issues, together with a full list of the affected employees, be presented to the full board for ratification.”

Some of the affected workers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they feel Made acted outside his mandate.

“This created confusion in that the CSC human resources manager went ahead and unilaterally did the terminations without consulting neither the line managers nor the board. It became a one-man-band, where there was neither a board resolution nor a set of criteria used. The terminations were subjective,” one of the line managers, whose contract was terminated, said.

Calls to Made were unsuccessful, as the minister was not responding on his mobile phone when Southern Eye sought to get his comment.

CSC board chairman Lindela Ndlovu was said to be out of the country on official company business yesterday.


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