By Citizen Reporter
HARARE – All is not well at Varichem Pharmaceuticals with employees complaining that the appointment of Alexio Muchabaiwa as the company’s Managing Director has created a myriad of problems affecting their morale.
Not only did Muchabaiwa scrap employee loans but workers claim they are being forced to work overtime with no pay.
“If anyone refuses to work overtime they are fired, the latest being three guys from the production department who were fired 4 weeks ago,” a source said.
Only top managers are given transport allowances of $600 monthly while the rest are only given $40. The company which manufactures life-prolonging anti-retrovirals (ARV’s) is said to be bankrupt and selling company cars and buses.
“Is this the black empowerment that we all talking about since this company is 100% locally owned” an angry worker asked.
In 2010 Varichem became the first wholly indigenous African company to attain World Health Organization (WHO) prequalification.
Two of the ARVs they manufactured include Stalanev 30 (Stavudine 30mg, Nevirapine 200mg, Lamivudine 150mg) and Varivar (Lamivudine 150mg, Zidovudine 300mg), which were also prequalified.
But last year in March Varichem said they had stopped the production of ARV’s owing to a lack of support from the local market. Its state-of-the-art machinery lay idle together with almost 70 percent of the other machinery on the plant.
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