Employees from the Alpha Media Holding Stable, (AMH) the publishers of Newsday, TheStandard, The Independent and Heart & Soul have gone for a month without salaries and have besieged management offices as tempers flare.
Sources close to the events told TechMag.TV that the management offices were stormed, with the named executive begging the journalists to be patient with them as they sought the salary issue, but the solution proffered was rather sickening.
“AMH management offered us our June salary by the end of July, and we wonder what would have happened to our July salary at this rate, they are taking us for granted”. Said a furious employee.
AMH newsroom offices which is in the graniteside industrial area is spending the whole day without electricity as the company can no longer cope with the diesel expenses they are now using generators to keep the environment powered as part of their measures.
Management has resorted to turning off the whole area during midday breaks till after lunch and only switch on the generators afterwards as the financial crisis bites.
To try and recover the costs, AMH has increased the price of all its publications by 100%, and we are not sure if this move will improve the remuneration of their employees.
Earlier on this year, AMH employees had gone into a go slow, demanding salary increase after the government removed the 1:1, forcing salaries to crush in value.
Meanwhile the owner of AMH, Trevor Ncube is currently peddling heavy propaganda that Zimbabwe inflation is dropping and is the best place for investors to do business, a move which is unruffling feathers with his eployees.
Last year Trevor Ncube was slapped with 3.5million lawsuit for failing to repay loans he had borrowed in 2015.
“It was recorded that the plaintiff had lent and advanced the amount of R3,5m to the first defendant (M&G Media Limited). As from 1 August 2015, until the loan was repaid to the first defendant, the first defendant would pay an administration fee of R50 000 per month to the plaintiff, which was payable on the first business day of each month, free of exchange and deduction.
The second and the third defendants bound themselves as sureties and co-principle debtors, jointly and severally with the first defendant for the repayment of the loan to the plaintiffs.”
They argued Trevor and Hoosain had failed to make consistent payments, which prompted them to take legal action.
“The last payment made by the first defendant was R25 000 on or about 8 February,” read the affidavit.
Trevor Ncube had however relinquished his stake in mail and garden in 2017, in a deal which saw Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) taking over his stake.
MDIF first provided a loan to M&G in 2003 when Mr. Ncube purchased a controlling interest from the UK’s Guardian Media Group at a time when the company was in a perilous financial position.
It was not clear whether the buy back was part of the loan condition he owed or he had already repayed.